Alabama lost for the first time since April 17 in the semifinal round of the Women’s College World Series against Florida State, falling 2-0 on Sunday in Oklahoma City.
The loss snaps a 20-game winning streak for the Crimson Tide (52-8) and forces the “if necessary” game to be played Monday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN. The championship series start will be pushed back to Tuesday.
Lexi Kilfoyl struck out nine but walked in the eventual winning run with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Alabama had just two hits and had only one runner reach second.
Here are three things we learned as Alabama gears up for a win-or-go-home matchup:
Defensive miscues the difference
Alabama only committed one error in the loss but had some minor defensive miscues throughout the game.
Shortstop Taylor Clark did not charge a ground ball in the fifth inning, resulting in another base runner. Elissa Brown had trouble picking up the ball in the outfield, allowing a Seminoles batter to reach third, and Bailey Hemphill overthrew Savannah Woodard on a steal attempt allowing the runner to advance to third.
Lack of support for Kilfoyl
The Crimson Tide had just two hits. An Alabama runner did not reach second base until the fifth inning and only did that one time.
Alabama drew only one walk, that one giving Hemphill the all-time record for walks in SEC history (237).
FSU prided on small ball
Florida State continues to battle in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles continue to win low-scoring, pitchers-duel type of games with singles and aggressive baserunning.
"I know everyone likes the long ball, but the small ball way of us has carried us." FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. "It's so cool to see an aggressive baserunning decision pay off."
Alabama will play FSU on Monday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN. The winner will advance to the best-of-three championship series beginning Tuesday against the winner of Oklahoma and James Madison.