softball-d1 flag

Cliff Brunt | The Associated Press | June 7, 2014

Florida completes sweep of Alabama to win first championship

Florida wins the 2014 Women's College World Series

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kirsti Merritt hit a three-run homer, and Florida defeated Alabama 6-3 on Tuesday night to win its first NCAA softball championship.

The Gators (55-12) swept the championship series 2-0. Florida was the national runner-up in 2009 and 2011.

Jackie Traina, one of the nation's best pitchers, gave up five runs in 1.1 innings before getting pulled for Alabama (53-13).

Florida coach Tim Walton chose not to start ace Hannah Rogers, but she entered the game in the sixth inning after Lauren Haeger and Delanie Gourley gave her a lead. She gave up one run in two innings. Merritt helped her with a spectacular diving catch in center field for the first out in the top of the seventh.

Florida beat its Southeastern Conference rival despite committing four errors and giving Alabama (53-13) plenty of chances to score.

It looked early as though Walton's decision to start Haeger would backfire. After getting just one hit in the first six innings Monday against Rogers, Alabama got singles from Haylie McCleney and Kallie Case in its first two at bats on Tuesday. Jadyn Spencer singled to knock in McCleney, giving Alabama its first run of the championship series. But the Crimson Tide got just one run out of the three-hit inning.

In the bottom of the first, Florida's Stephanie Tofft cranked a 2-2 pitch with two outs over the left-field fence to tie the score. Traina threw 34 pitches in the first inning.

Florida's Kelsey Stewart knocked in Aubree Munro to give the Gators a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. After that, Merritt's homer pushed the lead to 5-1 and chased Traina.

Alabama's Kaila Hunt hit a solo shot in the top of the third to trim Florida's lead to 5-2.

Haeger lasted three innings before giving way to Gourley, a freshman. After an error, Alabama had runners on second and third with no outs. McCleney walked to load the bases with two outs, but the Gators again escaped unscathed.

Rogers entered the game in the top of the sixth and pitched a perfect inning. Florida gave her an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-2.

McCleney tripled with one out in the top of the seventh, and Hunt knocked her in with two outs, but that's all the Crimson Tide got out of the inning.

No. 16 Florida volleyball upsets No. 4 Wisconsin in front of record-breaking crowd

Florida came out on top of the five-set battle with Wisconsin in front of a record-setting crowd.
READ MORE

The college football teams, conferences and coaches with something to prove in Week 1

These are some of the best storylines in week 1 of the 2022 college football season, beginning with the Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pittsburgh.
READ MORE

NCAA Video Vault: How a dropped baton led to co-champions in the 2013 men’s track and field championship

As we go inside the NCAA Video Vault, we'll take a look at a chaotic ending to track and field's premier collegiate event.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners