December 9, 2018

Unforgettable Moment: Hometown Hero Shines at WCWS

Cali Harrod is greeted by her teammates at home plate after her game-tying HR Sunday night on ESPN2 (Photo courtesy of Maury Neipris/FSU Softball)

Cali Harrod is greeted by her teammates at home plate after her emotional game-tying HR Sunday night on ESPN2 (Photo courtesy of Maury Neipris/FSU Softball)

(Oklahoma City, OK) — The Florida State Seminoles softball team bowed out at the Women’s College World Series Sunday night but not before freshman shortstop and hometown hero Cali Harrod provided one of the most unforgettable moments in Heard County history of the season in front of a national television audience.

The No. 7 Seminoles (55-10) twice battled back from multi-run deficits against No. 5 Auburn (57-10) to force extra innings before falling to the Tigers, 8-7, in eight innings to end their run at the 2016 Women’s College World Series.

With all eyes from Ephesus and Heard County glued to their televisions, Cali delivered the most exciting at bat of the 2016 WCWS when she blasted a three run bomb to tie the game at 7-7 in the top of the seventh inning.

“It was priceless — words can’t describe how I was feeling as I rounded those bases. I was just happy I could come through for the team and just give us that moment. It was just really awesome coming into the dugout,” said Harrod after the game.

The blast to right center was her fifth home run of the season. (See video courtesy of ESPNU below)

Local Lady Brave fans enjoyed watching and rooting for Cali and the Noles all week as they battled hard to finish as one of the top four teams in the nation.

The Noles fell to UGA 5-4 in game one Thursday before eliminating UCLA and Michigan from the series in loser’s bracket play.

Auburn will face off with Oklahoma in the best of three National Championship series beginning tonight.

Social media blew up for Cali’s huge moment and the always classy and humble Harrod thanked all of her fans and followers Sunday evening. Several people said they were literally moved to tears by Cali’s blast. 

“Can’t say thank you enough for the love and support from everyone! I’m sorry if I have not personally thanked you but thank you so much for everything y’all do,” said Harrod. “It means more to me than I can say. This season was unforgettable and I’m beyond blessed. Go Noles! Thank you everyone again!”

Cali’s performance and season was by far the most successful of any D-1 athlete in Heard County history as she started every game for the young Seminoles.

Seminole head coach Lonni Alameda was proud of her young team’s play on the national stage.

“I just think this team, they just kept fighting until the end,” she said. “They just gave everything they had starting in the fall. Everyone took what this program is all about and just went with it. The freshman came in, they learned quickly and all of them made an impact on this program. Next year we’re going to come back even stronger and more experienced. This year has been the funnest I’ve had and I’m looking forward to next season.”

With just three seniors on the roster, the Seminoles should be national contenders for the next several years. Cali will be joined by another local star, catcher Anna Shelnutt for the 2017 season.

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