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Sandercock’s gem puts Noles in Super Regional

Consistent pitching and timely hitting have the Florida State softball team back in the Super Regionals.

Kathryn Sandercock tossed 5.2 no-hit innings, and the Seminoles broke through with some big hits in the fourth inning en route to a 2-0 win over UCF on Sunday afternoon. Sandercock (23-2) gave up one hit and one walk, striking out eight as she secured her eighth complete game of the 2021 season.

“No-hitters are cool but winning is a lot more fun,” Sandercock said with a smile.

And FSU has won with impressive consistency in the postseason. The Seminoles have won eight straight regionals, including the 2018 WCWS title. A number of FSU softball alumni were back in attendance this weekend, including pitcher Meghan King.

The Seminoles (42-10-1) will travel to LSU next weekend in a best-of-three Super Regional.

FSU did its damage in the fourth inning. Elizabeth Mason and Cassidy Davis led off with doubles, and Devyn Flaherty’s bloop single to right-center field brought Mason home. Following a botched squeeze play at home, Dani Morgan hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield, and Flaherty beat the throw at home to make it 2-0 FSU.

That was more than enough for for Sandercock, who tossed 5.2 no-hit innings before allowing a triple in the sixth to Denali Schappacher. But Sandercock induced a weak ground out to end the inning.

“I thought she did a great job of being present,” FSU coach Lonni Alameda said. “You work all season on preparing for this moment. The game of softball doesn’t change but your mindset can be different. She was nervous in the beginning and then she took it under control. Really cool to see her stay present pitch by pitch.”

FSU had an announced crowd of 786 but also more fans were sitting on the berm behind the left-field wall as well as the parking garage across the street. It was the first weekend where the NCAA allowed full capacity and the emotion from the crowd was intense. Alameda said fans were already sitting on the berm when she arrived at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

“It almost seemed like a joyous occasion,” Alameda said. “It was a really energetic environment. … Did really add to the atmosphere.”

BOX SCORE

The UCF-FSU box score can be viewed here.

UP NEXT

FSU will play LSU, which defeated Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday evening. The Seminoles will travel to LSU. Game days and times are to be determined.

The Seminoles celebrate the regional-clinching win over UCF. (photo by Ross Obley / FSU athletics)