Florida Advances To Championship Series Over Auburn 3-2


“Florida Advances To Championship Series Over Auburn 3-2” Written By Bill Plummer

OKLAHOMA CITY – Nicole DeWitt get the biggest hit of her career Sunday, stroking a two-out walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth to left field to give Florida a 3-2 win over Auburn and advance the Gators to the Championship Series starting Monday.

It will be the fourth time in seven years the Gators will play for the national title. Florida (58-6) is seeking to repeat since Arizona did in 2006-2007 and it was the 14th consecutive postseason win by Florida.

The hit by DeWitt was only the fifth for the Gators off losing hurler hurler Lexis Davis (26-3). The single by DeWitt scored Justine McLean from second base with the deciding run and gave Florida its third extra inning win of the season. McLean had gotten on base on a fielder's choice before Davis got leadoff hitter Kelsey Stewart to pop out to shortstop, setting the stage for DeWitt.

In making its debut in the WCWS, Auburn (56-11) played its second extra inning game in as many nights and out-hit the Gators, 11-5, but couldn't get the runs it needed to win stranding 14 baserunners and leaving runners on in every inning while going 4 for 27 with runners on and 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

The two runs the Tigers scored came in fourth inning on a two-out two run single to left field by Branndi Melero scoring Jade Rhodes and Victoria Draper after Florida had scored its first run on a wild pitch by Davis in the third inning, scoring McLean. McLean had singled with one out before Stewart walked and DeWitt popped out to shortstop. Winning pitcher Lauren Heager then loaded the bases before Davis unleashed a wild pitch with Kirsti DeWitt at bat.

DeWitt also starred for the Gators on defense, twice throwing out Auburn runners at home as the Tigers finished the season 56-11. DeWitt threw out Emily Carosone in the fourth inning and Morgan Estell an inning earlier.

With Auburn leading 2-1, the Gators tied the score in the bottom of the fourth on Taylore Fuller's line drive homer into the left field bleachers. It was her 14th homer of the year and left the game tied until the game-winning hit by DeWitt. Auburn played seven extra inning games and was 5-2.

Haeger, who threw 160 pitches in winning the Gators first two games, won her third game in this World Series and is now 31-1 for the year. She walked four and struck out six in going the distance throwing 160 pitches. Rachael Walters and Maarcy Harper each hurled two-thirds of an inning with Lexi Davis going 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, walking eight and striking out one. Auburn was 2-2 in its first appearance in the WCWS.

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Bill Plummer Bill Plummer A graduate of Indiana University, Ind. Bill has been involved in softball for more than four decades. For 30years he was a fixture at the ASA National Office as a communications coordinator, manager of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and historian. In addition, he also served as the editor of the ASA official newsletter, The Inside Pitch, and as the Trade Show Manager. He has written widely about the sport and has contributed to 14 books. In 2009, he authored “The Game America Plays.” In 2012, he co-authored “Best of the Best-Women’s Fastpitch.” In 2014, ” A Series of Their Own. The History of the Women's College World Series.” He has been elected to five halls of fame, including the ASA National. In 1996, he served as the Information Manager for the debut of softball in the Olympics.

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