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Cathi Aradi

WCWS: Bush Blast Sends Gators to Sunday Semifinal

OKLAHOMA CITY – A sixth-inning blast from Florida shortstop Megan Bush provided all the offense the Gators needed to advance to Sunday’s semifinals as UF defeated Michigan by a 1-0 score on Friday evening at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. 

With the victory, Florida (62-3) advances to Sunday’s semifinals needing just one victory to advance to the Championship Series. Michigan (47-11) falls to the losers bracket where the Wolverines will play the winner of Saturday morning’s Georgia-Missouri game. 

Florida had runners in scoring position in the third and fifth innings, but did not have a runner get past third base until Bush placed a home run halfway up the left field bleachers to lead off the sixth frame. 

Michigan tallied one serious threat in the game. Centerfielder Bree Evans led off the inning with what would prove to be the Wolverines only hit in the game. She was sacrificed to second by Angela Findlay, who was safe on the play when the fielders choice throw went to second base and Evans was safe at the bag. After left fielder Amanda Chidester sacrificed the pair into scoring position, Florida starting pitcher Stacey Nelson recorded two of her nine strikeouts on the night to retire the side and the scoring opportunity. 

With the win, Nelson improves to 41-3 on the season. She struck out nine batters and allowed just one hit without issuing a walk in the game. Nikki Nemitz took the loss in relief for the Wolverines. She falls to 28-6 on the season, having tossed 2.2 innings, striking out four and allowing two hits. Starter Jordan Taylor struck out five and allowed three hits during her 4.1 innings to start the game for Michigan.