Second-Seeded Softball Advances To Third-Consecutive World Series With Dramatic 10th Inning Win Over Top-Seeded Florida State, 3-2
May 20, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - California right fielder Kristen Morley's two-run double to left center in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Golden Bears to a 3-2 win over Florida State Sunday night in the championship game of the 2001 NCAA Division I Softball Tallahassee Regional at the Seminole Softball Complex. California, now 53-16, will advance to the College World Series next weekend in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Golden Bears will be making their sixth CWS appearance and third consecutive. Florida State ends its season at 58-12.
'This is the greatest win I have ever witnessed a Cal team win,' Cal head coach Diane Ninemire said. 'It truly was a championship game in every sense of the word. We got a key hit with the bases loaded, which was Kristen Morley's biggest hit as a Cal player.'
As with the previous games between these two clubs, the runs would once again be few and far between. Following a two-hour plus rain delay, the 3:30 scheduled game got under way at 5:48 p.m. The Seminoles wasted no time and scored in the top of the first when with one out, Kimmy Carter singled to center and after advancing to third on a walk and fly out, scored on a base hit to left field by Brandi Stuart. Cal picked up its first run in the bottom of the third as Morley scored on a double to left center by Candace Harper.
The score would remain tied at 1-1 until the 10th inning. With two out, FSU lead off hitter Serita Brooks reached base on a bunt single and stole second. Carter singled to right field and drove in Brooks, giving the Seminoles a 2-1 advantage. Cal's Veronica Nelson led off the bottom of the 10th with an intentional walk and Katie Andrew came in to pinch run. Eryn Manahan reached on a fielder's choice, but there was an error on the play and Andrew advanced to third base. With one out and runners on second and third, Amber Phillips was intentionally walked to load the bases and Florida State brought Leslie Malerich in to relieve starter Jen White-Stokes. Andrew was called out at home on a fielder's choice by Mikella Pedretti. With two out, Morley recorded the game-winning hit.
'All day they were pitching me in and out, in and out,' Morley said. 'I just closed my eyes and guessed out and I guessed right.'
Cal pitcher Nicole DiSalvio, who improved to 20-7, allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out six in the complete-game victory. The Seminoles used all three of their pitchers in the contest. Freshman Jessica van der Linden got the start and pitched two and two-thirds innings. White-Stokes pitched six and two-thirds innings and allowed just three hits and two runs, neither of which were earned, and struck out three batters. She recorded the loss and finished the season at 19-6. Malerich faced the final two batters.
'You have to give a lot of credit to Cal,' FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. 'They played a great game and they hung around the whole time. I thought that once we got two out, we were going to get out of that inning. I felt pretty good about it, but their kid just got a great hit. 'Cal gets to continue its season, but I think our season was a great one. We have a super group of competitors here. I'm just disappointed that it ended like that. We obviously wanted to keep it going and we worked our butts off to try to do that.'