(Update 3-15-16)- After winning the first two games of their series against Auburn, Florida was looking for the sweep going into Monday night’s game. It looked good for Auburn early taking a 2-0 lead into the 4th inning but Florida managed to put one run on the board in the 4th and added 3 more in the 5th taking a 4-2 lead in the game. Auburn scored one run in the bottom of the 5th making it 4-3. Finally in the bottom of the 7th when it looked like Florida might be getting their sweep Auburn through playing small ball managed to score the two runs they needed to win the game 5-4 handing #1 Florida their first loss of the season and avoiding the sweep.
This past weekend was a softball lover’s dream with great action happening everywhere. One of the most anticipated was the meeting between #1 ranked defending 2 time champions Florida vs. #3 Auburn. When going into the 3 game weekend series it looked like a match up of Florida’s pitching vs. Auburn’s hitting, instead Florida brought their bats and were pounding home runs to account for most of their scoring. Florida’s Delanie Gourley had 6 strikeouts in her 5 innings and star sophomore Aleshia Ocasio relieved her in the 6th allowing no hits in Saturday night’s game that went to visiting Florida 6-3. The win also marked the 700th win for Florida’s head coach Tim Walton. It didn’t take long for him to pick up win 701 when the two teams played again on Sunday. Once again Auburn’s pitching failed them allowing Florida to use the long home run ball to score them a 8-5 victory in the game. Kelly Barnhill got the start for Florida but it was once again star sophomore Aleshia Ocasio (9-0) who came in the game in relieve her to secure the win. Even though Florida won both games played they were both very entertaining and I still think Auburn will be around at the end of the season looking for a championship. The teams complete their three game series tonight with Florida going for the 3 game sweep.
Another good series in this opening week of SEC play was Alabama vs. LSU. Alabama pitching ace Alexis Osorio got the start against LSU’s Carley Hoover. Right from the start it was evident that Osorio was struggling with LSU getting the 6-2 win over Alabama. This was Osorio’s first loss of the season. Things improved for Alabama on Saturday with a 10-3 victory with Alabama starter Sydney Littlejohn (9-2) recording an entire game win. The game did feature a short rain delay that seemed to energize the LSU team to tie the game up in the 4th until clutch Alabama hitting accompanied by several key LSU errors allowed the Tide to pull away and easily win the game. The win was the 1st Alabama has had against LSU in Baton Rouge since 2007 in a regular season game. Sunday’s game seen LSU get back on their winning ways. Once again Alexis Osorio (7-2 ) got the start for Alabama against LSU’s ace Carley Hoover (10-0 ). Right from the start once again it looked like Osorio just didn’t have her normal pitching prowess. When the dust had cleared LSU had a 8-1 win and had taken 2 out of 3 games in the weekend series between the two teams.
Tennessee had a good weekend with their series sweep over Arkansas. Things got started with a 18-4 victory for Tennessee in a 5 inning run-rule shortened game. In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader between the two teams Tennessee once again won with a shortened run-rule 10-2 game. Both game losses went to Arkansas’ Grace Moll who has been stuck with the task of trying to handle the vast majority of pitching for this team that’s starving for more starting pitchers. Tennessee continued their dominance of Arkansas with a 3-1 win in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. The team will have a much tougher test when they head to Florida that will include a three-game stop against the #1 ranked undefeated Florida Gators next weekend.
Big 12 Conference Texas pulled out a win at the Maverick Classic 10-8 over Samford with the win going to Paige Von Sprecken (5-1). They team couldn’t pull off the win against Arizona in their next game though suffering a 3-2 loss in eight innings. Tiarra Davis took the loss for the team with her record falling to 10-3 on the season. The team heads to Hawaii next to play in the Rainbow Wahine Classic and try getting back on the winning track.