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Florida softball reaches World Series

GAINESVILLE — Kelsey Stewart and Kirsti Merritt hit three-run homers as Florida won Game 3 of the best-of-three Super Region 8-0 Sunday over Washington to reach the softball World Series.

Merritt's came in the fifth and ended the game by the mercy rule.

The Gators, who won Saturday's Game 1 9-0 by the mercy rule, open the Series against Baylor on Thursday in Oklahoma City. Game times for the opening matchups haven't been determined.

The deciding game Sunday started at 3:10 but twice was delayed by thunderstorms and didn't end until a few minutes after 11. The second delay came just after Stewart's home run in the fourth made it 4-0.

Washington forced the deciding game when it won Game 2 4-3. Kaitlin Inglesby's two-run homer in the fifth put the Huskies up for good. She also pitched a complete game, allowing eight hits and two walks.

More softball: Florida State faces Oregon, the No. 1 team in the coaches poll, in its World Series opener. The Ducks eliminated visiting Minnesota on Sunday. Other openers: Oklahoma against Alabama and Kentucky against Louisiana-Lafayette.

St. Petersburg native reaches tennis final

Virginia's Danielle Collins, a Florida transfer from St. Petersburg, beat Duke's Ester Goldfeld 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) to reach the singles final of the NCAA women's tennis tournament in Athens, Ga. Collins, seeded No. 32, faces No. 24 Lynn Chi of California at noon today.

Collins played at Northeast High. In 2010 she was the Tampa Bay Times' Pinellas County player of the year after winning the Class 3A state title. She spent a season at Florida, going 24-8, before transferring.

This season Collins became the first Cavaliers woman to reach the NCAA quarterfinals. On Sunday, she led 5-2 in the second set.

"(Goldfeld) made a big comeback," she said. "But I was confident going in at (5-5) and also the tiebreak. I was playing really well. I had good momentum."

Baseball: Florida falls to LSU in SEC final

HOOVER, Ala. — Sean McMullen's two-out, two-run homer in the eighth lifted No. 3 seed LSU to a 2-0 win over No. 1 Florida in the SEC tournament final.

Karsten Whitson pitched six scoreless innings for the Gators, allowing three hits and walking three. Ryan Harris allowed Jake Fraley's single and McMullen's homer. Four LSU pitchers combined to allow two hits and five walks. They also induced three double plays, one in the ninth.

ACC: Connor Justus' two-run single capped a three-run eighth that broke a tie and lifted No. 9 Georgia Tech past No. 6 Maryland 9-4 in the final in Greensboro, N.C. … Late Saturday, No. 2 FSU scored four in the seventh to rally past No. 3 Virginia 6-4. The inning included three walks, a wild pitch and three consecutive RBI singles.

American Athletic: Josh Vidales went 5-for-5 with three RBIs to lead No. 3 Houston past No. 1 Louisville 10-4 in the final at Clearwater's Bright House Field. He singled in runs in the fourth, fifth and ninth, and Casey Grayson's two-run double capped a three-run sixth that made it 7-2.

NCAA tournament: Florida, FSU and Miami will be among 16 hosts of double-elimination region tournaments that start Friday. The brackets and schedule will be announced today (noon, ESPNU).

Tampa: The Spartans, who fell 4-3 to Southern Indiana on Saturday, face Chico State in an elimination game of the Division II championship at 1 today in Cary, N.C.

Junior college: Alex Piddee's 10th-inning triple gave Pasco-Hernando State College a 3-2 walkoff win over Mercer County (N.J.) in the Division II World Series opener in Enid, Okla. Danny Rodriguez, a graduate of Lutz's Steinbrenner High, earned the win. The Conquistadors play at 8 Tuesday against the winner of today's game between Vincennes (Ind.) and Hinds (Miss.).

Men's golf: The third round of the NCAA tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., was postponed until today by rain. Stanford led by four over Alabama. Florida State was tied for 26th.

Florida softball reaches World Series 05/25/14 [Last modified: Sunday, May 25, 2014 11:58pm]
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