Texas eliminates Gators from WCWS
OKLAHOMA CITY -
After playing a 15-inning marathon to stave off elimination Saturday night, second-seeded Florida ran into a quick turnaround Sunday at the Women’s College World Series. To make matters worse, the Gators had to go up against NCAA strikeout leader Blaire Luna.
Luna struck out 14 in a one-hit shutout, Kim Bruins hit a three-run homer and fourth-seeded Texas beat Florida 3-0 Sunday to eliminate the Gators.
Luna (32-6), the nation’s strikeout leader, gave up only a one-out single to Taylore Fuller in the fourth inning that zipped right down the left-field line. The Gators (58-9) were playing just more than 12 hours after prevailing 9-8 against Nebraska in the fifth World Series game ever to go 15 innings or longer.
“I really don’t think that had anything to do with today’s performance,” Gators coach Tim Walton said. “I think Blaire Luna had everything to do with today’s performance more than anything. She was very good.”
Luna threw a no-hitter in the super regionals for fourth-seeded Texas (51-9), but didn’t make it out of the third inning during the Longhorns’ 10-2 loss to rival Oklahoma on Saturday. She was in command against Florida from the start, earning the Longhorns the chance to play Tennessee on Sunday night.
“I was really proud of how I did and just bouncing back. It’s the World Series. That’s what it’s about,” Luna said. “Today, I did a lot better job of mixing and it worked to my advantage.”
Hannah Rogers (33-7) gave up five hits and walked four, but couldn’t match Luna’s performance.
“She had a really good backdoor curveball that was just getting the corner,” Gators cleanup hitter Lauren Haeger said. “The umpire was calling it, so the whole game it was very consistent, so we needed to make adjustments to it.
“She was mixing her pitches really well. She is a great pitcher, and she did what she needed to do today.”
In Saturday’s late game, which ended at 12:24 a.m. Eastern, Florida’s Haeger and Jessica Damico scored on shortstop Alicia Armstrong’s fielding error in the 15th inning to oust Nebraska (45-16).