Alligator Army Notebook: May 9

- Survive and advance describes the Gators’ 1-0 win over Ole Miss Thursday in the first round of the SEC Softball Tournament. Sophomore Francesca Enea’s solo homer in the 6th was the difference as No. 1 UF (60-2) avoided a massive upset. Ole Miss (26-28) only had five baserunners in the game, but was able to limit UF to six hits. The Gators play Tennessee (47-13) this evening in the semifinals. UF swept three games from the Vols last weekend.

 

- Since baseball is on the road at Alabama and softball is out of town, take some time to check out the NCAA Tennis First and Second Rounds in Gainesville . I was never a tennis fan, but college tennis is the opposite of pro tennis with six matches played all at once and doubles matches with people getting a forehand in the face (the classic move of former UF player Jennifer Magley). Today, the UF women (20-2) face Jacksonville at . If they win, Saturday they face the winner of Auburn and, oh my, is that who I think it is? OHIO STATE! Can I get you on board with women’s tennis if you knew they could beat the Buckeyes? I thought so. The men’s team (15-7), with SEC Player of The Year Greg Ouellette, gets Navy Saturday morning and would face the winner of Miami and USF Sunday.

 

- Andy Katz has a story about Billy Donovan and how his decision to stay at Florida looks now that the Magic are in the second round and the Gators crapped out in the NIT. Of course, it worked out best for everybody, but Billy still has a group of kids he is unsure about. Here he is revisiting the, “They’re not committed to it,” line from the SEC tournament.

 

"I didn't like the tone they had," Donovan said on Thursday. "It wasn't that I didn't want to coach them as sophomores. But I don't think they had an appreciation for what had happened before they got here. I think they thought, 'Hey I've got Florida across my chest, so we're going to win.' I really wanted to make sure they didn't get into a trap because of the way they were viewing the end of the year."

 

If Billy said made the comment about the name on the jersey originally, it wouldn’t have gotten the same play because that is a common critique. At the time, it sounded like he was throwing the team under the bus. This summer, everyone but Speights will be in town, including transfer Vernon Macklin and the freshmen. Facing them in practice will be Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, and Al Horford. The pressure is on.

 

"They need to have a level of humility and respect the guys in front of them," Donovan said. "I want to see which freshmen can impact winning. We've got the whole summer to get the right mindset with this group. The guys coming back have to provide the leadership and the other guys have to trust them."

 

- May 17 is International Gator Day and the Tampa Gator Club is holding a Kickball Tournament for Joshua House. (This is perfect for me.) To find what your local Gator Club is doing, go here. Speaking of helping the community, here is a great story from the St. Pete Times about Gators Football mentoring young kids in Gainesville.

 

- May 15 Danny Wuerffel will be at the Jacksonville Touchdown Club luncheon raising awareness for his Desire Street Ministries. Several former Gators will be there as well as the Teeeebowwws. For information about the luncheon, go here. If you can’t get to Jacksonville, I suggest you take a look at what the ministry is doing for New Orleans. There are a lot of issues in the world, but don’t forget about rebuilding New Orleans.

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