Gator Softball Wins its Opener at CWS

After six runs were scored in the first three games combined on Thursday at the Women's College World Series, the No. 4 Gators put up that many of their own in the late game. They did it with small ball and the long ball, securing a 6-2 win over No. 5 Missouri in the opening round. It was the second time in the last four years that Florida has won its opening game in Oklahoma City.

The Gators got on the board in the first inning. Scoring early has been a key in the team's recent success, and it gave them plenty of momentum to break out into a big lead.

Michelle Moultrie started the first inning with a single and two batters later, Kelsey Bruder drove a single that deflected off the center fielder and went to the wall, scoring Moultrie and sending Bruder to third. Brittany Schutte followed with a squeeze bunt to third base, scoring Bruder from third and giving the Gators an early 2-0 lead.

After the two early runs, the Gators went to the long ball. Moultrie hit a solo home run to center field in the third inning, followed by a two-run home run from Megan Bush in the same inning, pushing the Florida advantage to 5-0.

Stephanie Brombacher started on the mound, but she only lasted 2.1 innings before running into trouble. Freshman Hannah Rogers worked out of a jam and closed the game out, going the final 4.2 innings and picking up the win to move to 34-6 on the season.

She gave up a two-run double in the sixth inning over the glove of a diving Moultrie in center field, but Rogers limited the damage there.

Ensley Gamel added an RBI single in the sixth inning to give the Gators the 6-2 cushion they would hold on to.

The win sets Florida up with No. 1 overall seed Arizona State on Friday night at 9:30 p.m. EST.

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