Ratliff Makes it a Grand Time

The lone senior Mary Ratliff on Florida's remarkable softball team drilled a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the Gators to the championship of the SEC Tournament in Baton Rouge.

Top-ranked Florida knocked off No. 3 Alabama by a final score of 4-1 to claim the first tournament title in school history.

With the win Florida improved to an incredible 62-2 with their 35th win in a row. The Gators may have assured themselves of being the No. 1 overall seed when the NCAA bids come out on Sunday.

Ratliff's game winner came against the same team and the same pitcher, Kelsi Dunn that she did it to back on March 12. On that day Florida and Alabama split a doubleheader and neither team had lost an SEC game since. Alabama had taken the lead with the game's first run in the top of the sixth, but Ali Gardiner ripped a shot into the right centerfield gap to get into scoring position and three batters later Ratliff drilled her ninth homer of the season.

SEC Pitcher of the Year Stacey Nelson went all the way for the Gators, earning her 40th win of the season. She held the SEC's top hitting team to just a single run. Florida had twice previously reached the SEC Tournament final including last year but came up short both times.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel

Fightin Gators Top Stories