Florida (57-7) used its freshmen power players to grab the team’s second win over UAB (40-19) 1-0 to sweep a Super Regional in Gainesville and send the Gators to the College World Series.
Florida’s Kelsey Stewart dove from second base to stop a grounder from UAB’s Lauren Webster and sent it to catcher Aubree Munro to prevent UAB’s pinch runner Hailey Glynn from tying up the game at 1-1.
Munro tagged Glynn just before stepping on home plate to get the third out in the seventh inning to give the Gators the win.
Stewart said she was ready for the ball to come to centerfield.
Florida only scored its one run in the game, as freshman Taylor Schwarz smacked a double at the left center wall in the fourth inning to get pinch runner Ensley Gammel to home plate.
The run gave the Gators a 1-0 lead over the Blazers going into the bottom of the fourth.
Schwarz said her run was thanks to the entire team effort in the innings leading up to her effort.
With only one earned run, the game was all about pitching.
Florida starting pitcher Hannah Rogers pitched all seven innings and struck out seven UAB hitters. The Blazers managed only four hits in the game.
UAB’s starting pitcher Lauren Webster was very good as well, limiting the Gators to four hits as well and she pushed aside scoring threats in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Florida coach Tim Walton said he was impressed with UAB’s team, but he’s proud that his team’s consistency in practice has finally paid off.
Florida advances to the College World Series in Oklahoma City for the fifth time in program history.
Florida is the second seed going into its College World Series opener with seventh-seeded Tennessee on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.