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Gators blank Tide in Women's World Series finals opener

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Updated: 6/02 10:41 pm

Oklahoma City, OK ( - Hannah Rogers' four-hit gem has Florida one win away from its first Women's College World Series title after the Gators posted a 5-0 victory over Alabama in Game 1 of the best-of-three final.

Rogers was perfect through the first four innings and yielded only a Kaila Hunt single through six. The senior All-American allowed three hits around a double play in the seventh before finishing off the shutout by getting Molly Fichtner to ground to short.

Aubree Munro gave Rogers all the support she needed with a solo home run in the third inning and finished 2-for-3 for No. 5 national seed Florida (54-12), which will attempt to secure its first national championship in Tuesday's Game 2.

The Gators later broke the game open in the top of the fifth, with Kirsti Merritt doubling home Kelsey Stewart and crossing the plate on Stephanie Tofft's base hit for a 3-0 lead.

Tofft added a sacrifice fly that plated Stewart in the seventh to increase the margin, with Lauren Haeger tacking on an insurance run with a double that brought home Merritt later in the frame.

Stewart and Haeger also collected a pair of hits for the Gators, runners up in this event in both 2009 and 2011.

Jaclyn Traina struck out six over 6 1/3 innings for Alabama (53-12), the No. 2 overall seed which advanced to the final by knocking off top-seeded Oregon on Sunday. She was charged with all five Florida runs -- four earned -- on eight hits.

The Crimson Tide are seeking their second World Series title in three years, having downed Oklahoma in the 2012 final.

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