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Women's College World Series championship series should come down to offense

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: June 5, 2011
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Some diehard softball fans said Arizona State's 6-5 win over Florida on Friday night in a winners' bracket final at the Women's College World Series was one of the most intense, entertaining games all season.


Get ready for Florida-Arizona State round 2, round 3 and maybe round 4.

The best-of-three final that starts Monday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium doesn't figure to be a 1-0 pitchers duel.

“I really think it's going to come down to offense,” said ASU senior first baseman Mandy Urfer. “Florida has a great offense and we have a good offense. Both teams are swinging it pretty well right now.”

Florida is swinging it exceptionally well.

In five WCWS games the Gators are batting .353, have scored 41 runs — 8.2 a game — and slammed 11 home runs.

“I don't foresee these games being 0-0 heading into the seventh, eighth or ninth,” said Florida leftfielder Kelsey Bruder. “I think it's going to be the team that outscores the opponent. We try to hit hard pitchers so our pitchers can pitch with ease.”

That certainly was the case on Sunday when the Gators romped to 16-2 and 9-2 wins over SEC rival Alabama.

Yes, Florida, is hot at the right time. But this is a lineup that's slammed 120 homers this season.

The Gators' 3-4-5-6-7 hitters have combined for 94 homers — Kelsey Bruder (18), Brittany Schutte (22), Megan Bush (21), Cheyenne Coyle (17) and Aja Paculba (16).

“Everybody said it was the bats or this or that,” said Florida coach Tim Walton. “It's our hitters. Give them wood, a stick and I guarantee you they'll still find ways to hit home runs. These guys can really hit.”

So can Arizona State, which is batting .312 with 13 runs and three homers in three WCWS games, 82 home runs this season.

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