FSU softball loses in extra innings, Duke wins the rubbermatch

2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship
2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship / Ian Maule/GettyImages

FSU softball fought valiantly against the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils and has multiple chances to secure the win in their rubber match on Sunday afternoon. However, Duke capitalized more often and took the win Sunday in extra innings, 9-5. The Noles entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 5-3 and scored twice to tie the game 5-5. However, Duke scored four runs in the top of the eighth to secure the win. FSU drew first blood with a 1-0 lead in the first inning. However, they squandered a bases-loaded opportunity with two outs and Jahni Kerr at the plate. Duke took a 3-1 lead before FSU trimmed it to 3-2 and tied it 3-3 in the fourth. Duke had an answer every time FSU tried to make a run, scoring two more runs in the fifth for the 5-5 lead. Allison Royalty started the game and continues to struggle, going two innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits. The FSU did themselves no favors in the field as Duke played small ball with several bunt hits.

Makenna Reid pitched well in relief, allowing two earned runs on three walks, two hits, and a strikeout in 2.2 innings. Ashtyn Danley allowed FSU to answer, holding Duke scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings. However, Duke tagged her for four earned runs in the top of the eighth on four hits, including a two-run home run. The Noles threatened in the bottom of the eighth, getting two runners on 1st and 2nd with Kalei Harding at the plate with only one out. However, she hit an infield fly, and Amanda Ross grounded out to end the game. Michaela Edenfield went 3-3 with two RBI. Kaley Mudge went 3-5, and Jaysoni Beachum went 2-4. However, FSU was 3-15 with runners in scoring position, and Duke was 5 of 14. FSU left 12 runners on base. Duke executed in the key situations, which was the difference.

I think FSU fought hard and had opportunities to win the series despite getting smoked in the first game. Makenna Reid and Ashtyn Danley pitched well overall against an excellent ball club. Hopefully, FSU can use this experience to continue to get better as the season progresses.

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