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Gator Softball opens NCAA Regional

The Gators will be favored to win their NCAA Regional. But recent results and who the Gators (43-8) are playing this weekend have added some edge to the events on Museum and Hull Roads this weekend.

The Best Dressed Women In Gainesville enter the NCAA Tournament as the overall No. 4 seed and last year's runner-up. But their last game was a 9-1 beatdown by LSU in the SEC Tournament. They might have been given a better seed than their results deserved, but they were not rewarded with UCF (35-21) and FIU (36-19) in their bracket. UCF took the Gators to extra innings and FIU beat the Gators in Gainesville this season.

Florida starts the Regional facing Bethune-Cookman (32-22) today at 6pm. UCF faces FIU at 3:30pm. The Regional is double elimination with two games today, three Saturday and a maximum of two Sunday.

It's hard to complain about a team with eight losses, but UF does have the ability to not hit on days when UF's pitching struggles. In six of UF's eight losses, the Gators scored three runs or less. Great pitching always beats great hitting, and UF does get the target on their back and the stresses of that. Yet, you can't lean on that to explain not hitting.

Florida needs all nine to hit this weekend and as they go deeper into the tournament. Senior Francesca Enea is the straw that sirs the drink and teams will be very happy to pitch around her. UCF and FIU have already shown that one great pitcher can neutralize the Gators. If they do it again, the Gators face another long summer.