The pressure isn't on Florida now, not at this point in the championship series of the Women's College World Series, not with a 1-0 lead.
Not with Lauren Haeger returning to the mound after freshman Aleshia Ocasio and sophomore Delanie Gourley combining to keep the potent Wolverines in check on Monday in a Game 1 victory. Not with Haeger's hot bat being joined by a fuller complement of Florida's best offensive players. Not with Michigan star Sierra Romero no doubt thinking about — if not dwelling on — the baserunning error that helped doom the Wolverines' comeback bid on Monday. Not with two games left to win one.
"There is no tomorrow," former Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan told these Gators when he met with them late last week, before the Women's College World Series began. It's a mantra used by motivators who want their charges to do things with urgency. And Florida's played like that all NCAA Tournament, which is part of why the Gators haven't trailed after any inning in the event, and why a win tonight would set a new record for consecutive wins in NCAA Tournament play.
But there is a tomorrow for the Gators should things go sideways tonight. There's another chance to win a title. There's breathing room that should allow the Gators to not hyperventilate. There's enough of a margin for error to go full speed ahead if they really want to on this evening.
I don't think Florida will need that tomorrow if they swing free and play hard, like they have tried to all year. But that tomorrow is a certainty for Florida, and a dream for Michigan — and that assurance should lead to confidence.
And confidence should lead to performance.
And performance should lead to a championship.
Go win it all, Gators.