For the first time in Women’s College World Series history, a pair of Southeastern Conference opponents will meet for the national title.
Alabama and Florida advanced to the best-of-3 championship series with wins on Sunday. They will meet in Game 1 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Monday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
“Everybody on our team respects the heck out of them,” said Alabama coach Patrick Murphy. “I don’t think it’s a nasty rivalry at all. I consider (Florida coach) Tim (Walton) and I good friends.”
The teams met in a three-game regular-season series in late March, with Alabama going on the road and taking two out of three from then-No. 1 Florida.
“They’re a great team,” said Alabama pitcher Jaclyn Traina. “We saw them once this year, and we’re just going to out like it’s any other team. They’re very good, and we just have to make quick adjustments during the game and play Alabama softball.”
Alabama’s win over Oregon on Sunday also kept a Pac-12 team from reaching the finals for a third straight year. The conference had at least one team in the finals from 1987-2011.
ATTENDANCE STILL STRONG
Oklahoma's exit from the Women's College World Series didn't slow down the workload for ticket-takers at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
With a paid attendance of 8,910 on Sunday afternoon, the Women’s College World Series has had five consecutive sessions with at least 8,800 fans.
The only session to fall short of the mark was the opening session on Thursday afternoon, when 7,846 fans attended the first two games.
Through six sessions, a total of 53,151 fans have come through the gates.
FLORIDA’S FREE BASES
Before Taylor Schwarz’s three-run double in the fifth inning that gave Florida a 5-0 lead, two Gator batters had been hit by pitches with two outs to keep the inning alive.