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Kalei Harding’s “Super” Diving Catch Made FSU Fans Swoon
Screenshot from Twitter: Florida State Softball

Move aside Air Aliyah, there’s a new Airess on the diamond.

Florida State softball freshman Kalei Harding is mostly known by FSU fans for her bat — she’s one of FSU’s top hitters and leads the team in RBIs. However, in the Seminoles’ 1-0 win over LSU in the first game of the NCAA Super Regional round, she saved the game using her glove.

How does “Air Harding” sound?

Kalei Harding “Super” Catch Robs LSU

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The Seminoles and Tigers were scoreless by the time the fourth inning came around.

LSU’s star leadoff hitter Aliyah Andrews kicked off the frame with a single. She reached second base on a sacrifice bunt, which drew Baton Rouge’s most feared sluggers to the plate: Taylor Pleasants and Amanda Doyle.

FSU ace Kathryn Sandercock got Pleasants to fly out and pushed Andrews to third base. Doyle came to the plate and lined a ball to right field, where Florida State’s Kalei Harding charged in and dove to make the catch.

The full-extension grab not only kept LSU off the scoreboard, it gave FSU momentum. The Seminoles scored the only run of the game on a Cassidy Davis sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and held on to win an important first game at Tiger Park.

FSU Softball’s Twitter account took a slight shot at Andrews, who is LSU’s star centerfielder that has earned nicknames like “Air Aliyah” and “Air Andrews.”

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“Just call her air @kaleiharding,” they wrote on social media.

Harding’s catch wasn’t the only defensive highlight from the game.

Sandercock was grateful for her defense after the game.

“My defense is incredible. I love them so much. They work so hard,” Sandercock said in a postgame press conference. “They sell out. They’re in the right spot. They’re making the tough plays. That’s all a pitcher could want.”

FSU softball head coach Lonni Alameda’s squad is just one win away from Oklahoma City’s Women’s College World Series.

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If FSU hopes to win its second national championship in the last four years, it’s gonna take catches like the one “Air Harding” made against LSU.

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Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. He lives in South Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.
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