Gators will play for it all Tuesday

Behind a dominant performance form senior Lauren Haeger at the plate and a gutsy effort from Aleshia Ocasio and Delanie Gourley in the circle, the University of Florida softball team won Game 1 of the Women’s College World Series Championship Series over Michigan, 3-2, on Monday in front of 8,329 people at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

With tonight’s win, UF (59-6) has extended its postseason win streak to 15 games, which is tied for the longest in NCAA history. In addition, Florida improved to 3-0 this season against the Wolverines (59-7).

The 2015 National Player of the Year, Haeger, launched her 71st-career home run midway up the bleachers in the left field in the bottom of the first inning, which set the tone for the entire game. The long ball was a two-run shot, as junior Kelsey Stewart led off the first with an infield single.

In the bottom of the third, freshman Nicole DeWitt notched a one-out single to center and then scored on a Haeger double, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Despite the early momentum swing, Michigan would not go away.

In the sixth, UM kicked off the inning with a Kelsey Susalla single up the middle, followed by Lauren Sweet getting hit-by-a-pitch. After a pair of Wolverine fly outs, Michigan’s Tera Blanco walked to load the bases, setting up the table for a two-run single for shortstop Abby Ramirez to cut the UF lead to 3-2.

Michigan was threatening once again in the seventh as it had runners at the corners with no-one out, but the Wolverines were unable to score.

In the circle for UF, head coach Tim Walton chose to start freshman Aleshia Ocasio (18-3), who in her second-career start tossed six innings and struck out three batters. Coach Tim Walton then called on sophomore Delanie Gourley toclose the deal and earn her fifth save of the season.

The Gators will look to lock up there second-straight NCAA Championship tomorrow night in Game 2 of the WCWS Championship Series at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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