It was a near-perfect night for Florida Gators senior right-handed pitcher Hannah Rogers, who faced the minimum of 18 batters through six innings and delivered a shutout performance to earn a victory for her team in the first game of the best-of-three Women’s College World Series Championship Series.
Rogers saw 23 batters, two over the minimum, by the time the night was over, starting the contest perfect through the first four innings as No. 5 seed Florida (54-12) pulled off a 5-0 victory over the No. 2 seed Alabama Crimson Tide (53-12).
Monday’s win was the first for UF in a WCWS Championship Series game despite the program advancing to the finals in both 2009 and 2011.
The Gators shut out their opponent for the eighth time in 10 tries in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and are now outscoring their adversaries 75-7 in the postseason event.
Rogers (7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 K) is 7-0 in the tournament with three earned runs in 42 innings pitched. She has shut out opponents in 41 of those frames, giving up only three runs in the fifth inning of UF’s semifinal contest.
Alabama starting hurler Jaclyn Traina powered through Florida in the first two innings, striking out the side in the second while retiring six of the seven batters she faced in those early frames.
However, the Gators were quick to jump on Traina in the third with sophomore catcher Aubree Munro tearing the cover off the second pitch she saw as the leadoff hitter, homering for the third time this season and first since Feb. 14.