Game 13: Florida 9, Alabama 2
- Florida (56-11) will make its second appearance in the WCWS championship finals (first was in 2009) after eliminating No. 2 seed Alabama 9-2 on Sunday. The Gators beat the Crimson Tide 16-2 earlier in the day.
- Florida improved to 11-7 all-time at the WCWS and to 41-25 in the NCAA tournament.
- Alabama ended its season with a 53-11 record and fell to 8-14 all-time in WCWS play (seventh appearance). The Crimson Tide has finished in the WCWS top four in each of its last three appearances and is 54-28 in the NCAA tournament.
- Florida notched back-to-back Sunday victories to advance to the championship finals, a feat only five teams have accomplished in WCWS history since 1994. The last time a team won two Sunday games was in 2009 when Washington defeated Georgia twice and went on to beat Florida in the championship finals.
- After losing 5-0 to Alabama on April 22, Florida rebounded to win the final four meetings against the Crimson Tide. In three regular season meetings, Alabama outscored the Gators 12-9. In two games today, Florida outscored the Crimson Tide 25-4. Alabama leads the all-time series 26-23.
- Alabama entered the day with a streak of 30 consecutive innings without allowing a run. Florida combined for 25 runs in its 11 at-bats against the Crimson Tide today.
- Florida has scored five runs or more in 50 of its 67 contests this season, including each of its five WCWS games. It improved to 46-0 when leading after four innings, to 32-3 when committing no errors and to 50-0 when out-hitting its opponent. Additionally, the Gators are 42-2 when scoring six-plus runs.
- In five WCWS games, Florida has scored 41 runs to rank second in event history (UCLA scored 47 runs in five games last year). The Gators also rank second in WCWS history with their 11 home runs (UCLA hit 14 last year).
- The Gators are averaging 8.2 runs per game in this year’s WCWS (Arizona State ranks second with its 4.3 runs per contest and California ranks third with its 2.7).
- After jumping on Alabama for 11 runs in the first inning this afternoon, Florida posted three runs in the top of the first in the evening rematch thanks to home runs from senior Kelsey Bruder and sophomore Brittany Schutte. Bruder’s homer was her 18th of the year while Schutte’s was her school-record 22nd. The three runs tied for the second most given up by Alabama in the first frame this year.
- Bruder scored three runs to give her nine in this year’s WCWS, an event record. Junior Michelle Moultrie has scored seven runs this year, ranking her sixth in a single WCWS.
- Alabama’s Whitney Larsen hit an RBI-triple to give the Crimson Tide its first run of the game in the seventh inning. The RBI was Larsen’s team-high 65th of the year, fourth most in Alabama single-season history. Larsen has 196 career RBI’s, second in school history.
- Tonight’s Session 7 attendance was 5,447. Through seven sessions, this year’s WCWS total attendance is 53,870 (7,696 average). The current record for per-session attendance for an entire WCWS is 6,951 (set last year).
FLORIDA HEAD COACH TIM WALTON
“First of all, I just want to congratulate Alabama on another tremendous season. That senior class they have is very, very talented. It’s kind of humbling when you sit in the dugout after the game and watch them talk and I just really feel for them because I know how it feels to have your season ended. But what a class act, great team; just fighting all the way to the end. I didn’t expect it to be any other way when we were getting runs up. That’s why we were trying to score a lot more as we were going. But I got to give credit to where credit’s due. I thought our hitters just came out ready to go right from pitch one and again in game two. Hannah (Rogers) pitched a fabulous game, just showing us exactly, hopefully, what she’s got left in her tank. She really threw a really nice game. Our defense made some great plays behind her. But obviously the run support makes it a lot easier to pitch. And I’m happy the way our lineup really attacked today.”
On how his team’s offense is flourishing against all pitchers it faces:
“We’ve been doing this for a while now. I mean, we’ve been hitting all kinds for a long period of time. Everybody says it’s the bats, and everybody says it’s this and everybody says it’s this. It’s not that. It’s our hitters. Give them a wood piece, give them a stick. I guarantee they’re going to find a way to hit a home run. These guys can really hit. And I want to give them credit. They’re strong, they’re more athletic, they’re better balanced, they’re better connected than any group I’ve ever had. And to hit 120-something home runs and do what they do, I’m going to give them credit. I think they’ve really done a good job and for that they deserve the credit that’s warranted that goes with all the talk about everything else.”
FLORIDA JUNIOR CENTER FIELDER MICHELLE MOULTRIE
On performing so well in the tournament:
“It feels great. I just have to thank God, I guess, for all the abilities I have. I guess I’ve just been hitting really well and it’s feels great to just come out for my team and get on base and score runs. It just feels great.”
FLORIDA SENIOR LEFT FIELDER KELSEY BRUDER
On representing Florida in the championship finals:
“I’m incredibly excited. Last time I was here we were going to face Washington and it didn’t turn out exactly how we wanted it to. But I think right now we’re representing all of the SEC. There’s been a lot of talk about the Pac-10 and how it dominates. We just want to show that we play the brand of ball that they do. And we want to represent not only for the University of Florida the right way, but for the SEC.”
FLORIDA FRESHMAN PITCHER HANNAH ROGERS
On what she saw in today’s first game that helped her in the second game:
“When our hitters come out just attacking the ball, it helps me a lot because it allows me to go out and have fun with my pitches and just hit spots that they’re going to miss. They’re a good hitting team, so if I just hit my spots then to allow them to miss (my pitches).”
ALABAMA HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
“I just want to say thanks to everyone who was involved with the World Series this year, including the media. You guys make something important when you write about it and it’s been the best coverage by far. We get the best coverage in the country in Tuscaloosa on college softball because we’re on the front page every single day, and it makes it relevant. But for you guys being here, it makes the sport relevant, so I appreciate it very much because it’s going to get bigger and better, mainly because you’re covering it. Just thanks to all volunteers, all the workers; I know a ton has gone into this. The NCAA Softball Division I Committee does a great job. Sharon Cessna, the NCAA Director of Championships, she does a great job. And like the column in the paper the other day, the lead was ‘Omaha in Oklahoma City,’ and I think we’re almost there. I couldn’t be more proud to be involved with the game of college softball because I think it has grown so much in the past 13 years since I’ve been at Alabama. And it’s an incredible feeling for these young ladies to play in front of 10,000 people daily at the College World Series.”
On replacing senior starting pitcher Kelsi Dunne early in the game:
“Well it’s tough at anytime. I probably have the longest leash of anybody. I just feel like our offense is going to score and the pitchers are going to do their job. After two games we weren’t hitting, we weren’t scoring. I just felt like a change was needed. But Kelsi has been one of the classiest kids we’ve ever had and it’s a compliment to her that I can go out and take her out because she’s a good kid.”
On how his team’s offense seemed to stop abruptly today:
“It’s tough. Like Kelsi said, the dominos kind of fell and we’ve been on the other side of it where our offense has just exploded. Sometimes it’s one of those days where everything goes their way and it might have been that way in that first game; they got all the breaks, they got all the hits. Everything went their way and nothing went our way. So it was just a big ’ole snowball effect.”
ALABAMA SENIOR SHORTSTOP WHITNEY LARSEN
On the Alabama offense struggling:
“Well, definitely credit to Hannah Rogers and Stephanie Brombacher. I thought they both pitched really well in both games. It just seemed like we couldn’t get hits strung together back to back. Then at times when we put the ball in play, we put it in play hard sometimes, it was just right to people. And I thought they made some good plays also. But we didn’t have as much timely hitting as we need and then we didn’t continue innings or try to get runners on with two outs as well as we normally have.”
On the team’s morale after Florida’s three-run first inning:
“We were still very confident because, I mean, three runs is a lot less than 11. We were confident and we knew that we were just going to have to put the ball in play and push some runs across. Coach Murphy kept saying, ‘Get two runners on, tying run’s is at the plate.’ And that’s what we kept trying to do. We just couldn’t get runners on when we needed them.”
ALABAMA SENIOR PITCHER KELSI DUNNE
On being taken out of the game early:
“I just had to believe in Jackie (Traina) to come in there and get it done. Just couldn’t hang your head or be disappointed with yourself; still have to stay in the dugout and cheer for your teammate.”
On the Florida offense:
“They’re a good team. You have to give credit where credit’s due and they have a powerful offense and they make things happen. They hit the ball hard all the time, so you have to try to keep your mind in the game after that first home run. Things just got a little out of control in that (first) inning.”