Florida softball to compete in 12th Women’s College World Series after Gators eliminate Baylor

By OnlyGators.com Staff
May 26, 2024
Florida softball to compete in 12th Women’s College World Series after Gators eliminate Baylor

Image Credit: UAA

A third national championship is now an official possibility for Florida Gators softball, which will return to the Women’s College World Series for the 12th time in program history after clinching the 2024 Gainesville Super Regional on Sunday.

Florida never trailed in the rubber match, winning 5-3 over the Baylor Bears to earn a WCWS trip after falling in the opening regional of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Gators won 4-2 over the Bears on Friday before dropping a game 5-2 on Saturday, forcing a decisive Game 3. The midseries loss ended a 12-game winning streak for UF that dated back to April 28.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Keagan Rothrock (30-7) was the star of the weekend for Florida, throwing 247 pitches while starting all three games. Those heroics helped UF become the winningest Super Regional team in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators previously swept the Gainesville Regional with a 6-0 win over FGCU and a pair of 9-1 run-rule victories over South Alabama.

Competing in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive season, Florida advanced to the Super Regional for the 15th time in its last 17 opportunities. It has now pushed into the WCWS across 75% of its Super Regional opportunities (12 of 15). Those 12 appearances are the sixth-most in college softball history.

For all of its success thus far in the postseason, the Gators will play a de facto road game to open WCWS competition next Thursday. Florida will face the No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, less than 70 miles from its competitor’s campus in Stillwater.

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