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Florida knocks out Alabama, reaches Women’s College World Series semifinals

The Gators defeated SEC rival Alabama 6-4 in the losers bracket Sunday evening at Devon Park in Oklahoma City to advance to the semifinals of the 2024 Women’s College World Series.

Florida head coach Tim Walton attempted to spark the Gators’ offense into high gear with multiple lineup changes. Chief among them were pushing Skylar Wallace into the leadoff spot from third and moving Kendra Falby from leadoff to seventh.

The move paid dividends before Florida even scored a run as it snagged a hit in the first and second innings. The Gators had tallied just three hits in its two WCWS games — a win over Oklahoma State and a loss to Texas.

The Gators broke through in the third when Jocelyn Erickson singled and then Reagan Walsh grounded into a fielder’s choice.

This gave Florida the 2-1 lead after Alabama drew first blood in the second. The Tide tied it in the third, but UF reclaimed the lead with a single courtesy of Walsh.

Jocelyn Erickson got out of her slump fully in the sixth with a three run blast to put Florida up 6-2.

This gave Rothrock some much needed security given that she allowed two runs in the bottom of the sixth.

With the win, Florida is now onto its first semifinals at the WCWS since 2017. The Gators face second-seeded Oklahoma Monday starting at noon on ESPN. Florida must beat the Sooners twice to advance to the Championship Series.

Noah Ram covers Gainesville-area high school sports and University of Florida athletics for The Gainesville Sun. Contact him at Nram@gannett.com and follow him @Noah_ram1 on Twitter.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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