Florida Gators Softball Wins 2014 NCAA Softball National Championship With 6-3 Win Over Alabama

Rich DeCray

The 2014 Women's College World Series has come to a close and the Florida Gators will leave Oklahoma City hoisting the national championship trophy.

For the second night in a row the Gators bombarded Alabama's pitchers with timely hitting and relentless pressure from the circle. After both teams swapped runs in the first inning, Florida pushed four runs across the plate in the bottom of the second inning to put the Crimson Tide on the ropes.

After Aubree Munro worked her way around the bases, following a 1-out single, to put the Gators on top 2-1, Kirsti Merritt sent a three-run homer over the left field fence to put the Gators out of reach at 5-1. Shell shocked for the second night in a row, Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy pulled all-tournament pitcher Jaclyn Traina and inserted Sydney Littlejohn for the final 4.2 innings.

"I thought Jackie (Traina) was good," Florida Coach Tim Walton said after the game. "She was trying to throw her rise ball a little bit more today and trying to throw her off‑speed pitch a little more.  The last rise ball she threw was the one Steph put over the fence. But that was the game plan we went with and we knew she was going to have to make adjustments. She tried to throw off‑speed drop, and I thought we did a good job of being disciplined."

Alabama was able to put one run up in the top of the third and another in the top of the sixth but they were way too little too late. Florida ended up with six runs off twelve hits and that was far too large of a deficit for the Tide to overcome. After both teams entered the championship series undefeated in Oklahoma City, the Gators rolled the Tide in back-to-back games, taking the championship by a combined score of 11-3.

"I think the biggest thing in the two games was they just got ‑‑ they continued innings and they got key hits," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said.  "You know, the four runs in the second and, you know, it was ‑‑ the other night I think it was three hits or four hits combined with two outs, just back to back to back and we just couldn't get that big inning."

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