Gators Overpower Bama 16-2 To Stay Alive

The Gator softball team obviously likes it in Oklahoma City and is in no hurry to head home. Florida took command of their elimination game against Alabama with an 11-run first inning and its way to a 16-2 "run rule" win over the Crimson Tide to force a decisive second game with the Tide Sunday evening.

For the Gators (55-11) it was their third win in four games against their SEC rival. The Gators actually homered for the cycle; hitting solo, two-run, three-run and grand slam homers against the vaunted ‘Bama pitching staff, which entered the game having tossed four straight shutouts.   

The opening inning was as close to perfect as it could have been for Tim Walton's squad. After senior Stephanie Brombacher retired Alabama in order the Gators needed three pitches to take the lead. Michelle Moultrie lined a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence to put the Gators up one. After Tiffany DeFelice singled to left the Gators just stood and watched Alabama ace Kelsi Dunne implode. Dunne issued two walks to load the bases, and after Megan Bush popped up, Cheyenne Coyle was hit by a pitch to make it 2-0. Dunne then walked Aja Paculba and was pulled from the game.   

Jackie Traina entered the circle for Alabama and promptly walked Ensley Gammel to make it 4-0 before Kasey Fagan's two-run single pushed the lead to six. Florida still wasn't done as Moultrie singled to load the bases and with two out Kelsey Bruder walked for the second time in the inning. With the score 7-0 Brittney Schutte made the inning a record setter for the College World Series with a grand slam. Schutte's 21st HR of the season re-tied her with Bush for the team lead and school single season record.   

Alabama (53-10) answered with a run in the second, but if there was even the hint of a momentum swing it disappeared with Gammel's two-run HR, which put the Gators up 13-1. Coyle just kept the good times rolling with a three-run blast to left center against Alabama's No. 3 pitcher, making it 16-1 after just three innings. In three innings the Gators had 16 batters reach base safely and each one of them scored.   

To give you an idea about how amazing Florida's performance was; the Crimson Tide had not allowed an opponent to score more than eight runs in any of its previous 62 games. Bama also had not lost a game by more than three runs this season.   

Of course the total blow out domination of Alabama doesn't carry over to this evening's contest. The two rivals will go at it at 7:00 with the winner advancing to the CWS Championship Series and the loser going home. You know UF wishes cumulative score was the determining factor, but that's not the case. Florida will be the visiting team, though and there will be a lot of pressure on Alabama to keep the Gators from scoring first.  


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