Florida coach Tim Walton speaks to the media to preview the Women's College World Series at Devon Park in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. [NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN-USA TODAY NETWORK]

Women’s College World Series: Florida Ready For Challenge

The Florida Gators softball team is ready to start the Women’s College World Series at Devon Park in Oklahoma City.

The No. 4 national seed Gators (51-13) face the No. 5 national seed Oklahoma State Cowgirls (49-10) at about 9:30 tonight on ESPN2, ESPN 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF.

Florida beat the unseeded Baylor Bears last weekend in the Gainesville Super Regional to advance to its 12th WCWS, while OSU defeated Arizona in two games at the Stillwater (Okla.) Super Regional.



Gators Exceed Expectations

Florida coach Tim Walton has the Gators looking for their third national title in his 19th season in Gainesville. Last season, the team was eliminated in the regionals. He and his staff made changes before the season and it has led to the program’s sixth SEC Tournament title and another berth at the WCWS with a young team:

With seven freshmen on the team, many thought the lack of experience would hurt the Gators. They were picked to finish eighth in the SEC.

But the Gators showed their talent throughout the season. The veteran players stepped up and showed their leadership, even to the point where Walton did not name a team captain:

After the SEC Tournament title, the Gators won the Gainesville Regional before taking the Super Regional. They have won 13 of their last 14 games.

Heading to Oklahoma

Florida is familiar with tonight’s opponent. Oklahoma State defeated UF 3-0 in Gainesville on Feb. 19. Walton believes both teams did not play their best then and are completely different now:

With Walton just hitting 1,100 career wins, he has established Florida as a national powerhouse. This team has the talent to win the championship, but Walton also wants his players to focus on the experience of competing in this series:

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