OKLAHOMA CITY- The 5th-seeded Texas A&M softball team (56-7) needs just one win to secure its spot in the NCAA Championship series as it takes on the top-seeded Florida Gators (69-4) on Sunday at noon at the Women’s College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Florida would have to beat undefeated Texas A&M twice to advance to the championship series. If the Gators win the first game it would force an “if necessary” game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Gators dropped their opening game in their first ever WCWS appearance to unseeded Louisiana-Lafayette, 3-2 in extra innings on Thursday.
Florida battled back on "Survival Saturday", posting a pair of 2-0 wins over Virginia Tech and 2nd-seeded UCLA.
Stacey Nelson (47-4) recorded both wins in the circle for the Gators. The junior carries a 0.74 ERA through 57 appearances. In 340.1 innings of work, Nelson has recorded 355 strikeouts while surrendering 109 walks.
Ali Gardiner boasts a team-leading .402 average at the plate this season. The junior has scored 37 runs and driven in 56 RBIs off 84 hits, including 17 doubles, three triples and seven homeruns.
With the win over the Hokies, Florida broke the NCAA single-season win record (68).
The Aggies advanced to Sunday’s match-up with a 2-0 win over Virginia Tech in the opening round on Thursday.
Centerfielder Jami Lobpries then posted a perfect 2-for-2 effort at the plate driving in the first run and scoring the game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning to lead the Aggies to a 2-1 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday evening.
Senior hurler Megan Gibson logged the wins in the circle, posting her 39th and 40th wins on the season. The senior tossed 14 complete innings, striking out 15 while allowing just two walks.
A&M is 2-1 all-time against Florida. The two teams met for the first time last year in the College Station Super Regional. A&M won the first and final game of the best-of-three series with a pair of 2-0 wins.
Gibson was 4-for-8 (.500) against Florida last year in the super regional. The Spring, Texas-native recorded a double, a homerun, two runs scored, a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Seniors Jamie Hinshaw and Lobpries and sophomore Alex Reynolds were all 3-for-8 (.375) through the three-game series. Along with Gibson, the foursome combined for five of the Aggies’ six runs and 13 of A&M’s 21 hits.