Florida softball advances to 2017 WCWS Championship Series, will play for third title in four years

By Adam Silverstein
June 4, 2017
Florida softball advances to 2017 WCWS Championship Series, will play for third title in four years
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Image Credit: Kelly Volmer/Daily Commercial

No. 1 Florida Gators softball has run through the 2017 Women’s College World Series, earning a 5-2 victory over the No. 6 Washington Huskies in Saturday’s semifinal to advance to the WCWS Championship Series for the third time in four seasons.

The back-to-back national champions in 2014-15 were eliminated in Super Regional play a year ago and used those losses as motivation to return to the top spot in collegiate softball. The Gators had not given up a run until their 21st inning and after their 62nd out of WCWS play, outscoring opponents 20-0 through the first 20 innings over three games. Florida beat No. 9 Texas A&M on Thursday (8-0) and advanced to the semifinals by taking down No. 13 LSU on Friday (7-0).

Senior left-handed pitcher Delanie Gourley (7.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 10 K) got the start on Sunday and mowed through Washington with confidence behind a consistent run-scoring effort from her teammates. The two runs UF gave up were unearned and came following a two-out error in the bottom of the seventh.

Junior first baseman Kayli Kvistad put the Gators on the board first with a solo homer to right center in the top of the first, and she connected on a two-RBI single in the top of the second. That followed an RBI single by sophomore left fielder Amanda Lorenz, who got the scoring going in that frame. UF added to its advantage in the fifth as catcher junior Janell Wheaton knocked in another run with a one-out single.

This marks the eighth time in 12 seasons under head coach Tim Walton that Florida played in the WCWS and the fifth time that it will appear in the finals. UF will face either No. 10 Oklahoma or No. 3 Oregon (which must win two games on Sunday) for the national title.

The WCWS Championship Series begins Monday at 7 p.m. ET and continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at 8 p.m. (if necessary). All games will air live nationally on ESPN.

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