Florida vs. Alabama, Game 1, open thread: Gators want to strike first in WCWS finals

Rich DeCray

Florida faces a familiar foe in the Women's College World Series championship series.

I don't have a lot of original thoughts in advance of tonight's first game of the 2014 Women's College World Series championship series between Florida and Alabama (8 p.m., ESPN2 or ESPN3). So I'm just going to borrow some words from Crimson and Cream Machine:

The Gators have dominated this tournament from the plate and the Tide have ruled from the mound. Over the next two, or perhaps even three, games one of those is going to have to give. As a team, Florida is batting .321 and has driven in 21 runs in their three games in OKC. Both of those are tournament highs among the eight teams represented at the Women's College World Series.

The Gators have seven of the top 20 batters in this performance, led by Bailey Castro and Kirsti Merritt, who are both hitting .571 in their seven at-bats (in OKC). They are going to be challenged by Alabama's Jaclyn Traina, who has made a habit of sending batters back to the dugout. In twenty-one innings of work here in OKC, Traina has has surrendered just nine hits and fanned 23 opposing batters. She's sitting on a 0.33 ERA going into the championship series, and the Tide have seen no reason at all to not be confident in her arm after she's already diced up Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Oregon this week.

That sounds pretty good to me.

Go Gators.

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