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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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UF Eliminates Virginia Tech, UCLA

OKLAHOMA CITY - For the first time in more than two decades, neither of college softball's traditional powers will be playing for the national championship. Francesca Enea had an RBI single and Kim Waleszonia scored on a first-inning error by pitcher Anjelica Selden as top-seeded Florida eliminated second-seeded UCLA with a 2-0 win Saturday night in the Women's College World Series. Alabama eliminated two-time defending champion Arizona 5-1. UCLA (51-9) and Arizona (41-19) have combined to win 19 national titles, including one by the Bruins that was vacated by the NCAA, and at least one of the schools had been in the World Series finals every year since 1986. The semifinals will feature fifth-seeded Texas A&M (56-7) against top-ranked Florida (69-4), which knocked out Virginia Tech (49-19) with a 2-0 victory earlier in the day to stay alive, and Arizona State (63-5) against either Louisiana-Lafayette (52-14) or Alabama (57-7).
UCLA was undone by the same sort of play that led to its first-round victory. Ali Gardiner hit a comebacker to Selden (29-5), and she fumbled the ball while trying to take it out of her glove and flip it to first. Waleszonia scored from second as the ball bounced into right field. Enea stretched UF's lead to 2-0 in the sixth with a single to score Le-Net Franklin, who pinch ran and stole second after Gardiner's single. Stacey Nelson (47-4) gave up five hits in her second shutout of the day and her 18th of the season. In Florida's first win Saturday, Mary Ratliff hit a two-run double in the ninth inning against Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher, the national player of the year. Tincher struck out 19, one short of the World Series record set by UCLA's Debbie Doom in a 13-inning game in 1982.
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