The 2023 Women's College World Series Championship: Oklahoma vs. Florida State
The 2023 Women’s College World Series Finals start on June 7th. The 2023 WCWS Final is a rematch of the 2021 WCWS Final with the University of Oklahoma and Florida State University. The WCWS is a best-of-three series. In the 2021 WCWS Final, Florida State won the first game but then lost the other two games, so Oklahoma was named the 2021 National Champions.
These past few years, Oklahoma has been dominant in the Division I Softball world, winning the 2021 and 2022 National Championships, and currently boasting a 174-8 record between the 2021, 2022, and current 2023 seasons. With only one loss on the season, Oklahoma is strongly favored to win the National Championship once again. With such a talented team, each member can contribute at any time, and some big contributors this season have been pitcher Jordyn Bahl, Infielder Tiare Jennings, and Outfielder Jayda Coleman.
Bahl, coming off an amazing Freshman year, is even more lethal this year in her sophomore year for the Sooners. Bahl, who has pitched 137.1 innings this season, has a season total ERA of 0.97, and in the last four games Bahl has pitched, she has an ERA of 0.00. Without a doubt, Bahl will be taking the mound in at least one of the WCWS Final games, if not all of them.
The duo of Jayda Coleman and Tiare Jennings at the top of the lineup for the Sooners have had a big impact on the team this season. On the season, Coleman has a .419 batting average and Jennings has a .426 batting average, which is extremely lethal on the offensive side for the Sooners. In the WCWS so far, Coleman and Jennings combined have 7 hits and 7 runs batted in. On the defensive side, this season Coleman and Jennings combined have only one fielding error and are phenomenal in their respective positions.
Florida State Seminoles:
Florida State is coming into the WCWS Final with the possibility of one of the biggest sports upsets. This season, FSU has had an impressive season, going 58-9, and winning every game they have played in the WCWS so far. Many have underestimated how talented of a team Florida State is this season. While FSU doesn’t have the dominant record as OU does, FSU has the players and the team to pull off an upset for the National Championship. So far in the WCWS, FSU has been a huge force to compete against, only giving up two runs, and scoring 16 runs in three games.
FSU has a talented team, and each member can contribute at any time. Some big contributors this season and in the WCWS have been pitcher Kathryn Sandercock, infielder Josie Muffley, catcher Michaela Edenfield, and outfielder Kaley Mudge. Sandercock has been a huge key to FSU's success. When Sandercock has been on the mound this season she has pitched 186.0 innings with an ERA of 1.05. During the WCWS, Sandercock has been solid on the mound, only giving up one run to Washington, so like Bahl from Oklahoma, it is expected that Sandercock will take the mound for the Noles for at least one of the WCWS games if not all.
A huge aspect of this FSU team in the WCWS has been the defense from short-stop Josie Muffley. In back-to-back games, Muffley had an insane grab in the infield to end the games. In both games, this catch was crucial in stopping runs being scored for the other team. For example, in the Seminoles' game against Washington, Muffley made a catch to get the hitter out and was able to release it in time to get the runner on base out. This double play ended the game for the Seminoles who advanced to the WCWS semifinals with the win over Washington.
On the offensive side, every player has been contributing at different times, but the two standouts in the WCWS have been Michaela Edenfield and Kaley Mudge. Edenfield in the WCWS has a batting average of .389 with three hits, two of those being home runs, and three runs batted in. Mudge this whole season has an impressive batting average of .351 and in the WCWS has had three hits and four RBIs. FSU has the defensive and offense to truly upset the Sooners and bring back the National Championship to Tallahassee.
This season, Oklahoma and FSU have only played each other once back on March 14th, and the result of that game was Oklahoma defeating FSU narrowly with a score of 5-4.
The WCWS Final games are all airing on ESPN. The schedule is June 7th at 8:00 PM EDT, June 8th at 7:30 PM EDT, and if necessary, June 9th at 8:00 PM EDT.