Special to GC
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Florida softball team defeated Stetson 14-0 (6 innings) on Saturday to advance to the championship game of theNCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional. Senior Hannah Rogers tossed a four-hit shutout, allowing one walk and striking out four batters. Stephanie Tofft got things started for Florida with a one-out single in the top of the first, and the Gators (47-11) loaded the bases on walks to Lauren Haeger and Briana Little. UF plated its first run when Bailey Castro was hit by a pitch to force in Tofft. Stetson (39-13) had a one-out singlein the bottom of the frame, but Aubree Munro caught the runner stealing after a strikeout from Rogers. The Orange and Blue added another run in the second when Munro reached on a two-base error and then scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Kelsey Stewart. Stetson had a baserunner in the home half on a UF miscue, but Rogers induced a groundout by the next batter to end the inning. Castro doubled to left to begin the third, advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Kirsti Merritt before Taylor Schwarz pushed the Gator lead to three withan RBI single to left. A single by Munro set up Kelsey Stewart for a two-run triple to right-center, and Tofft drove in the sophomore on a base hit to left, putting the Gators ahead 6-0. The Hatters had a one-out single in the bottom of the inning, but the runner was hit by a batted ball on a two-out base hit to end the inning. Castro drew a one-out walk in the fourth, and pinch-runner Justine McLean got as far as third before she was tagged out trying to score on Schwarz' two-out bunt single. Rogers (24-8) retired Stetson in order in the bottom of the frame. Taylore Fuller singled through the left side as a pinch-hitter to lead off the fifth, and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch, Fuller came home on Stewart's base hit to right, putting the Gators up 7-0. The Hatters drew a leadoff walk, but Rogers stranded the runner in the home half. McLean reached on a fielder's choice with one out in the sixth, and the freshman scored from first on Merritt's double to left-center to push the lead to eight. Pinch-hitter Chelsea Herndon plated Merritt with a single to right after a walk to Schwarz, and Jessica Damico scored the first basemanon a pinch-hit infield single. A walk to substitute Francesca Martinez loaded the bases for Haeger, who launched a grand slam to right-center that gave the Gators a 14-0 lead. Rogers allowed a two-out single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth before completing the shutout with a groundout to third base, securing a berth for Florida in Sunday's regional final.