Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
OKLAHOMA CITY – The University of Florida softball team secured a spot in the finals of the Women’s College World Series with a 5-2 victory over Washington on Sunday at USA Hall of Fame Stadium. The Gators had seven hits on the day, while left-hander Delanie Gourley limited the Huskies to just two.
Overall, Florida is now 13-1 at the WCWS since 2014, which is the most wins in the country during that span.
Sophomore Kayli Kvistad wasted no time giving Florida the lead on Sunday as she mashed a one-out solo home run in the top of the first inning. The long ball was Kvistad’s second in as many at-bats, as she hit one in the seventh inning against LSU on Friday.
Florida pushed its lead to four runs in the second, when the Gators scored three times on four hits.
Seniors Chelsea Herndon and Justine McLean got things going with a walk and an infield single, respectively. Sophomore Amanda Lorenz continued her impressive NCAA Tournament run with an RBI single up the middle.
After a UW miscue moved Lorenz and McLean to second and third, Kvistad drove both of them in with a single to right-center field.
UF added its fifth and final tally of the game in the fifth inning when Janell Wheaton recorded her fifth RBI of the College World Series. Nicole DeWitt scored on the play as she reached base on a bunt single and moved into scoring positon via a sacrifice bunt.
That cushion was more than enough for Gourley, as she allowed just two hits and one walk while she struck out 10 Huskies.
Washington’s two runs, both unearned, came with two out in the bottom of the seventh after a Florida error that would have ended the game. UW’s next batter, Julia DuPonte, followed with a two-run homer.
Sunday marked Gourley’s first career start and fifth appearance in the WCWS. Overall, the Lakeside, Calif. native is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and one save in Oklahoma City, as she has allowed just four hits in 11 innings pitched. In addition to today’s win, her other victory came in the Gators national championship-clinching win in 2014 against Alabama and her save came in Game 1 of the 2015 Championship Series against Michigan.
Florida will make its fifth championship series appearance since 2009, which is the most in the country during that span.
- During Tim Walton‘s tenure as head coach, UF is 75-25 in NCAA play and 25-12 at the WCWS.
- Amanda Lorenz is now 14-for-28 in NCAA Tournament (.500) with seven RBI
- In addition, she’s 5-for-10 at the College World Series
- Kayli Kvistad is now 10-for 26 in the NCAA Tournament (.385) and has two home runs and five RBI in Oklahoma City.
- Delanie Gourley has not allowed an earned run since April 15 at Kentucky.
- Florida has scored more runs (20) in three WCWS games than it did in five of seven three-game SEC series this season.
Florida will face Oklahoma or Oregon tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN for Game 1 of the NCAA WCWS Championship Series. Check FloridaGators.com for broadcast information and more details.