Florida vs. Alabama Softball Prediction for NCAA Women’s College World Series

The Gators will play their season in Oklahoma City vs. Alabama on Sunday afternoon. Can Florida advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2017?

Two words will characterize the next 15 hours of softball in Florida:

Turn around quickly.

If you expand it to three, another sentence comes to mind:

Rinse it out.

That’s the boat the Gators find themselves in after their 10-0 loss to Texas in the second round of the Women’s College World Series Saturday night in Oklahoma City.

The loss pushed UF into the Losers Bracket, where it will face No. 14 Alabama on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Tide is on a roll after avoiding elimination of their own Friday night with a 2-1 win over Duke.

Here are the keys to victory, along with a prediction:

Trust the past

Florida’s biggest asset this season is its ability to bounce back from losses. It has lost back-to-back games just once this season, to USF and then twice to Missouri on April 10 and 13.

When UF suffered its most recent run-rule loss — 12-3 to FSU on April 24 — the Gators bounced back with an 11-6 win over Georgia.

More recently, Florida responded well after last Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Baylor in the Super Regionals.

The team talked after that game about the lessons learned from the losses, and it was evident the next day in a 5-3 victory over the Bears, which sent UF to Oklahoma City.

Now UF has to dig into that bag of tricks again.

“I think we’re going to control the atmosphere, keep the atmosphere loose and have fun,” Skylar Wallace said after Saturday’s loss. “We really have nothing to lose at this point. You just have to play softball.”

Avoid problems in Rothrock’s first inning

When Tim Walton addressed the media postgame on Saturday night, he said the obvious about Keagan Rothrock to most Gator fans.

“Normally, when she’s doing well, she’s doing well. When she’s doing bad, she’s going bad,” he said.

That idea reared its ugly head on Saturday when the freshman allowed two runs and three hits in the first inning before Walton pulled her in favor of Ava Brown.

That turned out to be similar to last Saturday, when Rothrock scored the next three points against Baylor.

The next day she came through the first unscathed and threw a beauty.

The same thing happened Thursday in Florida’s eventual 1-0 win over Oklahoma State.

The opportunity is there Sunday against a ‘Bama offense that has scored just three points in two WCWS games. Rothrock just needs to take advantage.

Florida softball vs. Alabama prediction

Florida 5, Alabama 3

After Saturday’s loss, UF faces a tough task to advance to its first championship series since 2017 as it must win three in a row.

I don’t see the road ending on Sunday.

As mentioned, the Gators have shown a knack for bouncing back from losses. Rothrock should bounce back against a Tide offense, and while Kayla Beaver is a phenomenal pitcher, Alabama isn’t the buzzsaw that Texas or Oklahoma State is.

Wallace admitted that “Bama is better than when UF won two of three in mid-March.

But she acknowledged that the Gators are also better, and that will show on Sunday.

“We know each other. We have a lot of film. We can think about that, see our good and bad sides, which can lead to a good game plan and a good approach,” Wallace said.

Noah Ram covers high school sports in the Gainesville area and University of Florida athletics for The Gainesville Sun. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him @Noah_ram1 on Twitter.

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