OKLAHOMA CITY – An historic season for the Lady Vols came to an end Monday night in the Women’s College World Series as they fell to No. 3 seed Florida State, 5-1, in the national semifinals at OGE Energy Field.
Tennessee finished the season 51-10 – breaking the 50-win mark for the first time since 2013. The Lady Vols season included winning the SEC regular season and tournament titles in the same year for the first time in program history.
UT reached the national semifinals for the first time since 2013. The trip to the WCWS was its first since 2015 and its eighth in program history.
Senior Payton Gottshall got the start for Tennessee in the circle, tossing 3.1 innings and allowing two runs on five hits. She was relieved by freshman Karlyn Pickens who went two innings with two strikeouts. She surrendered one run on one hit.
Graduate Ashley Rogers tossed 1.2 innings in the contest, fanning one batter. She allowed two runs on two hits. Gottshall came back in to finish the contest, throwing the final inning. She suffered the loss and finished the season 16-2.
Florida State (58-9) gave the ball to Mack Leonard who threw two innings, allowing one run on one. Makenna Reid cone on in relief for two innings and recorded two strikeouts, two walks and allowed just one hit. Reid picked up the win and is 13-0 on the year.
Kathryn Sandercock tossed the final three innings, giving up just one hit and notching four strikeouts. She earned the save – her 10th in 2023.
Zaida Puni opened the scoring Monday night, knocking an opposite field home run in the bottom of the first. The homer was her first in the WCWS and sixth during the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State answered with a pair of solo shots in the second and third. Michaela Edenfield tied the game with a home run to left in the second inning, while Bethaney Keen hit a homer to right – putting FSU in the lead in the third.
The Seminoles added to their lead with a run in the fifth as Jahni Kerr singled home Autumn Belviy – increasing the FSU lead to 3-1.
In the sixth, Florida State’s Hallie Wacaser hit a two-run home run to extend the FSU out to 5-1.