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Gators advance to softball Super Regions

GAINESVILLE — Shortly after UCF defeated Florida 1-0 in eight innings to force a deciding game in Sunday's NCAA softball region, UF coach Tim Walton anticipated the need for a pep talk.

"I went into the locker room and to my surprise, some were laying on the couch, some were dancing, some were goofing around," he said. "…I didn't see any tears, I didn't see anybody upset, I didn't see any dear-in-the headlights (looks)."

The laid-back demeanor led to a five-inning, 10-0 win, sending the Gators to the NCAA Super Region. The Game 1 result ended a 37-game winning streak for Florida, ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll.

Florida (65-3) jumped to a 3-0 lead off a home run by centerfielder Kim Waleszonia, who had two homers and four RBIs in the game. Hurt by three errors, UCF (49-20) couldn't recover.

Game 1 was a pitching duel between UF's Stacey Nelson (43-3) and former Bloomingdale standout Allison Kime, who allowed just five hits. Kime's chopper up the middle and an error led to UCF's run.

Kime (33-12), a senior, pitched in five games over the weekend, earning a standing ovation when she was removed in the fourth of Game 2.

"Allison has been pitching her heart out," Knights coach Renee Luers-Gillespie said. "We just ran out of gas."

Baseball: Tampa in College World Series

TAMPA — The two-time defending national champion Spartans will return to the Division II World Series after rallying to beat Catawba 9-8 in the South Region title game.

Tampa scored two unearned runs, both on groundouts, in the eighth inning to take the lead for good. The Spartans (42-9) allowed five runs in the first two innings and trailed 8-4 before the sixth, when a two-run homer by tournament MVP Jesus Barroso highlighted a three-run inning to close the gap to 8-7.

The CWS is May 24-31 in Sauget, Ill. Tampa is trying to become the first school to win three straight DivisionII baseball championships.

ACC TOURNAMENT: No. 2 seed Florida State faces Wake Forest at 5 p.m. Wednesday (broadcast on Sun Sports) on the first day of the double-elimination event in Jacksonville. Miami, the top seed, faces Clemson at 1 Wednesday.

Times wires contributed to this report.

Gators advance to softball Super Regions 05/18/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 10:42am]
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