GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In a back-and-forth battle in the NCAA Softball Gainesville Super Regional opener, the No. 2 Gators (56-7) used a sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for the win, as Florida took a 4-3 decision over UAB (40-18) in front of 1,691 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to inch one game closer to its fifth Women’s College World Series appearance.
The Gators entered the bottom of the seventh down, 3-2, and rallied as they’ve done all season, first taking advantage of two straight walks and a hit by pitch to load the bases before sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) was pegged with a relief pitcher Leigh Streetman offering for the equalizer, 3-3. Following a Gator strikeout for one down, Medina dropped a 0-1 Streetman offering in shallow left field over the UAB shortstop’s head to plate the game-winning run in walk-off fashion, UF’s sixth walkoff of 2013.
For Medina, the clutch hit was her first game-winner for the Gators this season, joining 11 other teammates who have clinched a victory for the Orange and Blue in 2013 by knocking in the game-winning RBI.
The Gators and Blazers will meet again at noon Sunday on ESPN, with Jeanne Zelasko and Cheri Kempf on the call, as Florida will look to clinch its fifth Super Regional for the right to head to Oklahoma City for what would be the fifth time in the last six years. The ‘if necessary’ game is scheduled for 3 p.m. should UAB even the series at noon.