UF Advances to Softball Championship Series

The Gators needed to carry momentum from the first win over Alabama on Sunday, and they didn't waste time proving it would be more of the same. Florida put up three runs in the first inning, and the offense continued to score as the Gators beat Alabama 9-2 to advance to the Women's College World Series championship series.

After setting a new WCWS record by scoring 11 runs in the first inning and cruising to a 16-2 win, the Gators took charge of the second game immediately. Florida was the away team and hit first, taking advantage with a two-run home run for Kelsey Bruder, followed by a solo home run from Brittany Schutte.

A pitch hit Bruder and Schutte singled to start the third inning. Megan Bush added a single to load up the bases and force Alabama ace Kelsi Dunne to be pulled from the game. Cheyenne Coyle followed with a two-run single that would give the Gators a 5-0 advantage.

While the offense continued to provide the cushion, freshman right-hander Hannah Rogers was dominant. She was able to rest as Stephanie Brombacher threw a five-inning complete game in the first win over Alabama, so Rogers was strong in the second game.

She didn't allow a hit until the 4th inning and finished her outing allowing only two runs and four hits in seven innings. The two runs she allowed came in the seventh inning with the game already in hand. Rogers also struck out seven.

The knockout blow came in the seventh inning. After Bruder singled and a pitch with hit Coyle with two outs, Aja Paculba hit a three-run home run to left field to give the Gators a 9-0 lead.

Game one of the championship series is Monday night at 8 p.m. The Gators will have a rematch against Arizona State as the Sun Devils beat Baylor on Sunday. Arizona State beat the Gators on Friday night in a back-and-forth game that the Sun Devils won in walk-off fashion.

Tuesday and Wednesday (if necessary) will also start at 8 p.m.

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