OKLAHOMA CITY — Florida won its second straight national championship behind Lauren Haeger’s complete game in a 4-1 victory over Michigan on Wednesday night.
Haeger allowed five hits and struck out five. She reached base on all four of her plate appearances, earning most outstanding player honors.
Florida became just the third program to repeat as Women’s College World Series champion, and the first since Arizona in 2006-07.
The players threw their gloves up in the air, and Haeger jumped up and down excitedly in the pitcher’s circle before she was rushed and the team formed a pile.
As Haeger and coach Tim Walton participated in an on-field interview, two players tried to douse them with Gatorade. But the bucket was too heavy, and they ended up just getting Walton’s ankles.
The Gators (60-7) scored all their runs in the first two innings. Justine McLean had two hits and Taylor Schwarz knocked in two runs for Florida.
Michigan (60-8) was going for its first title since 2005. Haylie Wagner, who shut out Florida on Tuesday to keep the Wolverines alive, got the loss. Megan Betsa allowed just one hit and didn’t yield a run in four innings of relief.
Haeger singled in Kelsey Stewart in the bottom of the first to give Florida a 1-0 lead. It was the first earned run against Wagner in 20 innings at the World Series. Schwarz’s single with two outs knocked in Nicole DeWitt and Haeger to make it 3-0.
Stewart doubled in the second inning to score McLean as Florida took a 4-0 lead and chased Wagner. Betsa came in and struck out two batters with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Haeger hit the first two batters in the third inning. Michigan loaded the bases with two outs before Haeger struck out Kelly Christner.
Michigan’s Tera Blanco broke Haeger’s no-hitter in the top of the fifth, and the Wolverines got on the board when Sierra Romero’s single scored Blanco.
Wagner returned to the mound in the sixth inning with her team down 4-1 and escaped a bases-loaded jam, but Michigan couldn’t get it going against Haeger.