Alabama, Florida advance to title series

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jackie Traina threw a four-hitter to help Alabama beat Oregon 2-0 on Sunday and advance to the best-of-three Women’s College World Series championship series against Southeastern Conference rival Florida.

Alabama took two out of three from the Gators during the regular season. They will meet again Monday night.

Alabama scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning, and that was all Traina needed. She struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

Haylie McCleney homered in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie, but the second run wasn’t as clear. Molly Fichtner connected for a single with two outs, and Kaila Hunt went for home. Hunt made a move in an attempt to score, and it was ruled she avoided a tag on a throw that got there first.

Alabama took that 2-0 lead into the top of the seventh, and the Ducks had one last shot. Oregon’s Kailee Cuico hit a single that brought the tying run to the plate with no outs. Janelle Lindvall put one over the left-field fence, but it barely sailed foul, and she struck out looking on the next pitch.

Koral Costa singled with two outs to keep the Ducks alive, but Traina struck out the final batter.

Florida, meanwhile, didn’t dominate Baylor in a rematch, but the Gators’ performance was good enough.

Hannah Rogers pitched a complete game and helped Florida defeat Baylor 6-3. The Gators, who beat Baylor 11-0 on Thursday on the opening day of competition, won Sunday with solid fundamentals. Florida had eight hits and three walks, but no home runs.

Rogers allowed three runs on five hits and threw 96 pitches. She improved to 29-8 this season.

Florida (53-12), took a 5-0 lead Sunday in the top of the fifth inning before the Bears scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a game. The Bears, who came from 7-0 down to beat Kentucky on Saturday night, couldn’t quite do it again.

Stephanie Tofft walked with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth to score an insurance run. She had two hits and knocked in two runs and Taylor Schwarz knocked in three runs for the Gators.

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