Florida softball shuts out Oklahoma State, advances in 2024 Women’s College World Series

By OnlyGators.com Staff
May 30, 2024
Florida softball shuts out Oklahoma State, advances in 2024 Women’s College World Series
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Image Credit: NCAA

The No. 4 seed Florida Gators benefitted from a sterling performance on the mound Thursday night in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On the back of freshman right-handed pitcher Keagan Rothrock, Florida shut out the No. 5 seed Oklahoma State Cowgirls to advance through the opening round of the 2024 Women’s College World Series.

Rothrock (31-7) tossed a complete-game shutout, retiring the first batter she faced in all seven innings. The first-year star only struck out three but limited her miscues to two hits and two walks while throwing 94 pitches in the biggest game of her young career.

Scoreless through four innings, it started to enter danger territory for the Gators, which had been held hitless through 16 at bats by Cowgirls starter Lexi Kilfoyl, one of the nation’s best hurlers. That was until senior outfielder Katie Kistler stepped up with a monster solo home run to right field, ending the no-hitter and breaking the tie.

While Kistler’s homer stood as the deciding run, a similarly clutch play was made one frame earlier as junior OF Kendra Falby robbed the Pokes of an extra-base hit in the top of the fifth. Given base runners came at a luxury on Thursday, Falby’s immense play took a sure scoring opportunity out of play.

With the victory, Florida continues into the winner’s bracket where it will face No. 1 seed Texas on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. The game will air live nationally on ESPN. A victory in that contest would allow for a 48-hour break and trip to the semifinals, while a loss would result in a win-or-go-home game Saturday night.

The Gators are competing in the WCWS for the 12th time in program history, the sixth-most in college softball history. They are seeking to play in the WCWS Championship Series for the first time since 2017 while efforting towards their first national championship since 2015.

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