OKLAHOMA CITY — Hannah Rogers threw a four-hitter to help Florida defeat Alabama 5-0 in Game 1 of the best-of-three national championship series Monday night.
Rogers had a perfect game through four innings and a one-hitter going into the bottom of the seventh in the matchup of Southeastern Conference rivals.
Florida (54-12) now is just one win from its first national title after runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2011. Game 2 will be played Tuesday night.
Jackie Traina got the loss for Alabama (53-12). She gave up five runs in 6 1-3 innings after having allowed just one earned run in her first three games during the World Series.
The Crimson Tide hadn’t been shut out since Feb. 16.
Aubree Munro got the Gators going with a solo homer to left-center in the third inning. It was her third of the season.
In the top of the fifth, Florida got it going with two outs. Leadoff hitter Kelsey Stewart had a bunt single, then Kirsti Merritt doubled to left center to score Stewart. Stephanie Tofft singled to score Merritt and push Florida’s lead to 3-0.
Alabama’s Kaila Hunt broke up Rogers’ perfect game with a single in the bottom of the fifth, but the Crimson Tide couldn’t score after getting a runner to second.
Florida got two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. A sacrifice fly by Tofft scored Stewart, then Lauren Haeger’s RBI double scored Merritt.