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Gators Softball Begins SEC Tournament

The stirrup-clad Gators softball team begins conference tournament play today in Baton Rouge as they face Ole Miss. In their previous meeting, the now No. 1 Gators (59-2, 27-1) swept Ole Miss (26-27, 9-19) in a three-game set at Gainesville in early March. Prior to winning the series finale 5-2, each game in the Saturday doubleheader was settled in the 7th inning with Florida winning both games 4-3.

 

In game one, senior Mary Ratliff had to knock a game-winning single in the bottom of the 7th to put UF over the top and get their first SEC win. In game two, pitcher Stephanie Brombacher had an adventurous top of the 7th, allowing a two-run homer as the Rebels cut the lead to one run. Stacey Nelson came in for the save and shut the door on an Ole Miss rally.

 

Ole Miss is definitely capable of derailing Florida’s momentum, but good pitching beats good hitting and it always beats average hitting. The Gators, led by Nelson, lead the SEC with a 1.01 team ERA while Ole Miss is 10th in team hitting, batting .245. Florida cannot look ahead to the second round, but it’s hard not to. If UF wins today, they get the winner of Tennessee-Georgia on Friday.

 

In other softball news, Nelson (38-2, 0.81 ERA) was named SEC Pitcher of The Year and Tim Walton was named Coach of The Year.