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Wait 'til next year for Gator Softball again

Saturday night Florida lost to Georgia 3-2, eliminating the Gators (49-10) from the Women's College World Series. It was the third consecutive season UF had reached the WCWS. Last season the Gators lost in the Championship Series.

Florida was backed into a corner thanks to losing their opener to UCLA. On Saturday, they defeated Missouri 5-0 to bounce the Tigers and set up the matchup with Georgia. 

The Gators were never as sharp as they should have been, or at least not as sharp as their opponents. Maybe if illegal pitches were not called (as they were starting Saturday), UF could have defeated UCLA. But the Bruins have the best remaining offense. It would have taken great performances from UF's pitching to win. Stephanie Brombacher struggled against UCLA and gave up eight hits and three runs against UGA, including a 2-run homer in the 1st inning.

Florida's offense did not help, with only six hits against Georgia and four in their win over Mizzou. In the 6th inning last night, UF had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, and scored neither runner.

The most upsetting thing about the Gators loss was the postseason struggles of Francesca Enea, who went from the best power hitter in UF history, to laying down sac bunts in the pivotal 6th inning versus Georgia. After that sac bunt, Enea was seen in the dugout possibly blinking away tears. After the game ended, the tears flowed, smearing her eye black. In any sport with a specific motion, like a baseball or golf swing, your body can just shutdown and it happened at the worst time for Enea. Maybe she needed to shorten her stride or drop her hands. But asking a player to change their moneymaking swing is impossible this late in the season. Her slump was like a virus and no amount of coaching or medicine was going to cure it.

This team will be back next season as only Enea and third baseman Corrie Brooks are seniors. But it is especially painful to see Enea, who has given everything she has for our school, only for the team to come up short again. She can take pride in that while it's wait 'til next year for the team, Enea can start planning for a successful career and a hopefully more successful marriage.