Florida took the first step in winning the 2014 Women’s World Series with a dominating 5-0 win over Alabama last night in Oklahoma City. The same two teams face each other tonight at 8 pm ET on ESPN and if the Gators win they will be the series champs.
Florida got yet another masterful performance from pitcher Hannah Rogers who has held opponents scoreless in 46 of her past 47 innings. The Gator senior standout threw a four-hitter to help Florida defeat Alabama in Game 1 of the best-of-three national championship series Monday night. The Gators (54-12) now are just one win from their first national title after runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2011.
Rogers took a one-hitter into the bottom of the seventh in the matchup of Southeastern Conference rivals. She had a perfect game through four innings. She was able to shut out an Alabama team that had not been held scoreless since Feb. 16th .
The Gators got things going in the top of the 5th with two outs. Lead-off hitter Kelsey Stewart had a bunt single, then Kirsti Merritt doubled to left center to score Stewart. Stephanie Tofft singled to score Merritt and push Florida’s lead to 3-0.
Alabama’s Kaila Hunt broke up Rogers’ perfect game with a single in the bottom of the fifth, but the Crimson Tide couldn’t score after getting a runner to second.
Florida got two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. A sacrifice fly by Tofft scored Stewart, then Lauren Haeger’s RBI double scored Merritt.