TALLAHASSEE (Florida Sports Wire)- Perfection.
With their backs against the wall, the third-seeded Florida State softball team (53-9) turned to their ace, Kathryn Sandercock, and she delivered with the Seminoles’ 15th perfect game in school history to defeat South Carolina (40-22), 1-0, in a winner-take-all regional final matchup. The win advanced the Seminoles to their 10th Super Regional where they will host No. 14 Georgia in Tallahassee. Dates and times are still TBD.
Sandercock’s perfect game was the first solo perfect game since Meghan King did it on Mar. 12, 2016, against Tulsa. It was also Florida State’s first perfect game in the NCAA Tournament.
After South Carolina won game one 4-0 to force a second game, Sandercock got the start in the circle and gave a raucous crowd a lot to cheer about as she struck out the first batter she saw. Sandercock not only threw a perfect game, but the Gamecocks did not hit a single ball out of the infield as she recorded five strikeouts, 15 groundouts and one pop up to Josie Muffley. Sandercock needed just 59 pitches to retire the 21 batters she faced.
Offense was hard to come by for the Seminoles, but Muffley singled and advanced to second on a groundout in the third inning. Jahni Kerr laid down a perfect bunt, and the pitcher threw the ball away into left field allowing Muffley to score to give the Noles the only run they needed.
The game entered a 40 minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth, but Sandercock was not fazed as she went right back to business, and didn’t give the Gamecocks any chance. Devyn Flaherty fielded the final groundball of the game to secure the perfect game for Sandercock.