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Florida reaches softball World Series

Florida catcher Aubree Munro, left, and pitcher Hannah Rogers celebrate after Munro tags a runner for the game’s final out.

Gainesville Sun

Florida catcher Aubree Munro, left, and pitcher Hannah Rogers celebrate after Munro tags a runner for the game’s final out.

GAINESVILLE — It was the kind of late, end-of-game play Florida's softball team practiced dozens of times this season. So when UAB's Lauren Webster singled up the middle Sunday, second baseman Kelsey Stewart didn't hesitate.

Stewart made a diving stop then, from her knees, threw out Hailey Glynn trying to score from second to preserve Florida's 1-0 win that put it in the Women's College World Series.

The Gators (57-7) swept the best-of-three Super Region, including Saturday's 4-3 win, to reach the Series for the fifth time in six years.

"Every day at practice, we go through game-winners," Stewart said. "Me and (shortstop Katie Medina) had just gone up to each other and said, 'Game-winner.' I saw her hit third and keep running, so I got on my knees and threw the ball."

The Gators scored in the fourth when pinch-runner Ensley Gammel stole second and scored on Taylor Schwarz's two-out double. It was Florida's only hit among 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

In the seventh, UAB's Anna Kimbrell doubled with one out. After a popout, coach Marla Townsend sent Glynn, a pinch-runner, on Webster's grounder.

"They are going to have to throw, catch and put a tag on at the plate vs. relying on the hitter coming through when (pitcher Hannah Rogers) was doing an outstanding job," Townsend said. "I promise you I would do it again."

Rogers allowed four hits and two walks while striking out seven in a complete game.

"I really liked the coach's aggressive style," Florida coach Tim Walton said. "I'm proud of our team. What a phenomenal play at the end of the game."

Seminoles eliminated

AUSTIN, Texas — Blaire Luna pitched a no-hitter and Karina Scott and Taylor Thom homered in the fifth as Texas beat Florida State 4-0 to sweep the Super Region.

FSU (44-19) last had been no-hit April 23, 2011, against Maryland. Luna struck out 13, and the only baserunner, who walked, was caught stealing.

"Blaire Luna is a great pitcher," said Seminoles coach Lonni Alameda, whose team lost Game 1 3-2. "At this point in the season for her to throw a no-hitter is good for her."

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

>>Fast facts

Women's College World Series

When: Thursday-June 5

Where: Oklahoma City

Format: Double elimination

Opening games *

Nebraska vs. Washington, noon

Florida vs. Tennessee, 2:30

Texas vs. Arizona State, 7

Michigan vs. Oklahoma, 9:30

* All games on ESPN2

Florida reaches softball World Series 05/26/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 26, 2013 10:18pm]
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