Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
Local | By Vivian Poole

COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Florida tops Washington 5-2, advances to championship series

COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Florida tops Washington 5-2, advances to championship series

Florida first baseman Kayli Kvistad homered and drove in three runs and Delanie Gourley struck out 10 in the top-seeded Gators' 5-2 victory over Washington in the softball College World Series in Oklahoma City on Sunday. 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).

Chelsea Herndon doubled to score two in the top of the fourth.

Florida scored four early runs against Taran Alvelo (35-9), who was pulled after recording four outs. The Sooners defeated OR 4-2 as Shay Knighten singled in two runs in Oklahoma's four-run fifth inning.

UF ace Kelly Barnhill (26-3, 0.34 ERA), USA Softball's Player of the Year, helped put the Gators within a win of a spot in the championship series that starts Monday.

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Danica Mercado provided the Ducks (54-8) with a 2-0 lead by hitting a two-run home run in the fifth.

The sophomore, hitting sixth in the batting order and leading the Aggies in batting average, on-base percentage and runs batted in, came to the plate just twice in the contest. Florida's Aleshia Ocasio hit a 3-run homer in the fourth.

Instead, A&M missed a golden opportunity and Florida put up two runs in the bottom half of the first, giving the Gators an early cushion, allowing Barnhill to go to work with less pressure. But no, I just think our kids have to make sure that they trust themselves in any situation, whether it be against a No. 1 team in the country or whether it be against a four-seed at regionals."On the tight strike zone". The teams have combined to win the past four national titles but are meeting for the first time in the championship series.

The Washington Huskies opened up the Women's College World Series Thursday with a dramatic victory over Oregon. "But since I played so much summer ball that was the only time I ever got to come here and watch". "We just didn't show up and play our game, and it didn't feel really good". I give credit to our opponent today, Florida.

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Looking ahead, the Gators will attempt to stay alive as they eye another championship after their quest for a three-peat was denied in 2016.

The Huskies took advantage of a two-out error in the seventh.

The Sooners bring a great deal of momentum into the matchup, playing behind junior Paige Parker, the first pitcher in NCAA history to win her first 8 WCWS starts. Yet with two wins, OR matched its deepest advancement into the tournament, only having reached Sunday's action on one previous occasion, in 2014.

The next game features No. 3 OR taking on No. 15 Baylor. We'll go hit tomorrow, and we'll rally around each other."Tori VidalesOn this game vs. game one against Tennesee".

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