Gators Travel to OKC for Sixth WCWS Appearance
OKLAHOMA CITY – Ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com / USA Softball polls and seeded No. 5 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the University of Florida softball team will face No. 17 (No. 13 seed) Baylor at noon (all times Eastern) on Thursday in the first game of the Women’s College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
ESPN will televise the contest, with Pam Ward handling play-by-play, Michele Smith providing analysis and Holly Rowe serving as sideline reporter. WGGG (1230-AM) will provide radio coverage, with Adam Schick (play-by-play) and Megan Bush (analysis) on the call. In addition, live stats will be available through Gametracker on the GatorZone.com schedule page.
How They Got Here
Florida swept through Regionals with 8-0 (5), 14-0 (6) and 7-0 wins over Florida A&M, Stetson and UCF, respectively. The Gators then reached the WCWS after winning two of three games against Washington in the Gainesville Super Regional. The Gators won the opener 9-0 (5 innings) on Saturday, then split a rain-delayed doubleheader on Sunday with a 4-3 loss in Game 2 and an 8-0 (5 innings) win in Game 3 that was secured on a three-run walkoff home run by Kirsti Merritt.
A Look at Florida’s Postseason History
The Gators are 76-56 (.576) all-time in postseason games. This includes a 22-24 (.478) record in the SEC Tournament and a 54-32 (.628) mark in the NCAA Tournament. Florida is 12-11 (.522) all-time in the WCWS.
Gator Bites—Setting Up the WCWS Matchup
Florida is 50-12 (15-9 SEC), while Baylor comes in at 47-4 (13-5 Big 12)… The Bears lead the all-time series, 7-2.
UF vs. WCWS Field
The Orange and Blue are 3-3 this season against the WCWS field…During the 2014 campaign, Florida has faced Alabama three times (1-2), Florida State twice (1-1) and Oregon once (1-0).
Florida head coach Tim Walton and assistant coaches Jennifer Rocha and Kenny Gajewski all are University of Oklahoma alumni (Gajewski/1994; Walton/1996; Rocha/1999)…Walton was the winning pitcher for the Sooners’1994 NCAA championship baseball team, and won the 2000 NCAA title during a four-year stint as an assistant with the OU softball team…After helping the Sooners to the 1994 Baseball National Championship, Gajewski stayed on one year as a volunteer assistant, and later spent 10 years as OU’s Turf and Maintenance Director…Rocha (maiden name: Jaime) was a pitcher for the Sooners (1996-98), finishing her career at 43-17 (.721) with a 1.46 ERA. She joined the Sooner coaching staff as a graduate assistant and also was part of Oklahoma’s 2000 NCAA championship team.
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