Gators take down Tide to win Women's College World Series

Kirsti Merritt set the tone with a three-run homer in the second inning, and Florida held off Alabama the rest of the way to claim its first-ever Women's College World Series title with a 6-3 victory.

Merritt's blast off Jaclyn Traina capped a four-run second inning that snapped a 1-1 tie, and Delanie Gourley and Hannah Rogers held the Crimson Tide to one run over the final four frames to secure the Gators' inaugural national championship.


Florida (55-12), seeded fifth nationally, won Monday's opener of this best-of- three final by a 5-0 count behind Rogers' four-hitter. She was touched for a run while working the last two innings in Game 2, taking over after Gourley allowed just one walk after relieving Lauren Haeger to begin the fourth.

Alabama (53-13), the No. 2 national seed seeking its second World Series crown in three years, got off to a good start via singles by Haylie McCleney, Kallie Case and Jaclyn Spencer that brought in an early run in the top of the first.

The Gators answered on Stephanie Tofft's solo homer in the bottom of the inning, however, then went in front on consecutive base hits by Aubree Munroe, Taylor Schwartz and Kelsey Stewart in the second.

Merritt followed with her 13th homer of the season, ending Traina's night and staking Florida to a commanding 5-1 advantage.

Traina, the losing pitcher in Game 1 as well, was tagged for five runs and six hits while recording just four outs.

Kaila Hunt's solo blast off Haeger in the top of the third pulled Alabama within 5-2, but Gourley shut the Tide down over the next two innings and the Gators stretched the margin when Stewart singled in the sixth and later scored on an error.

McCleney tripled in the seventh and came around on Hunt's two-out single, but Rogers got Spencer to bounce back to the mound to wrap up the victory.

Florida was making its third trip to the World Series final in the last six years, falling to Washington in 2009 and Arizona State in 2011.


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