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Walkoff grand slam in seventh inning gives Florida Gators a 6-5 victory over Alabama Crimson Tide and a spot in women's softball College World Series

OKLAHOMA CITY — Ali Gardiner was in a slump, her Florida softball team was in a tough spot and she hadn't been on the best terms with her father lately.

All in one swing, all her worries were gone.

Gardiner broke an 0-for-16 slump with the first walkoff grand slam in women's College World Series history, lifting top seed Florida into the best-of-three championship round with a 6-5 win Sunday over Alabama.

It was enough to make her father cry.

"His dream was always to see me in a Gator uniform, and I was … able to push our team to where we wanted to go," Gardiner said, tearing up herself. "It means a lot. To see my dad, who doesn't show much emotion — and the last few days we haven't talked much — it meant a lot to me."

Gardiner sent a two-out, 2-and-1 pitch in the seventh from ace Kelsi Dunne the opposite way over the leftfield fence as Whitney Larsen fell over it trying for the catch.

In the title series the Gators (63-3) face No. 3 seed Washington, which ousted Georgia 9-3.

Walkoff grand slam in seventh inning gives Florida Gators a 6-5 victory over Alabama Crimson Tide and a spot in women's softball College World Series 05/31/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 1, 2009 8:05am]
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