Oklahoma sweeps No. 1 Florida softball in 2017 WCWS Championship Series

By Adam Silverstein
June 6, 2017
Oklahoma sweeps No. 1 Florida softball in 2017 WCWS Championship Series

Image Credit: WRUF

A tremendous season for No. 1 Florida Gators softball came to a crashing end in the 2017 Women’s College World Series Championship Series as the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners powered their way to a sweep and the national championship.

Florida, which allowed just 11 runs over 13 games spanning the month of May, coughed up 12 over 23 innings to Oklahoma. The Gators gave up four home runs to the Sooners and fought from behind nearly the entire championship series, leading just twice for short periods of time.

Due to the WCWS Championship Series-record 17-inning slugfest the teams went through in Game 1 on Monday night, Florida chose to start its third-string pitcher, junior right-hander Aleshia Ocasio. Oklahoma started its ace but soon followed suit with its No. 3 pitcher and used four different hurlers — none for more than 2.1 innings — on Tuesday.

The scoring was fast and furious in Game 2 with OU striking out of the gate with a solo homer in the bottom of the first. UF immediately responded with a three-run top of the second, including a run scored after a batter was hit with the bases loaded. The Gators barely got to hold onto that lead, however, as Ocasio (1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB) loaded the bags in the bottom frame; senior left-handed pitcher Delanie Gourley (4.2 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 5 K) entered, walked a batter and gave up a three-run double to put the Sooners back on top 5-3.

Florida would cut its deficit to one with a solo homer in the top of the third but could never reach home again. Oklahoma retired seven straight following the dinger and allowed a runner in scoring position in the sixth, but sophomore left fielder Amanda Lorenz, UF’s top hitter, struck out to end the frame.

This marks the third time the Gators have advanced to the WCWS Championship Series only to be swept (2009, 2011, 2017). By winning a back-to-back title and its third national championship in the last five seasons, the Sooners can claim the “dynasty” title that was up for grabs between the two programs this year.

Florida was playing for its third title in four seasons after winning back-to-back crowns in 2014-15. It was the eighth time in 12 seasons under head coach Tim Walton that the Gators played in the WCWS and their fifth overall finals appearance.


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