Florida has its work cut out for it in Wednesday night's Game 3 of the 2015 Women's College World Series championship series.
To win, the Gators must rewrite history: No team that has lost Game 2 of the championship series has ever won the series, with momentum always carrying Game 2 winners in three-game series. (Obviously, Game 2 losers in sweeps don't play Game 3s.)
They likely must solve Haylie Wagner, or hope someone other than Lauren Haeger can. Florida has just six hits against Michigan's dominant lefty in just under 11 innings of work in this championship series, and Haeger has two of them.
And they almost certainly must wake from their deep slumber with runners on the basepaths. Florida has managed to threaten routinely in this postseason and in this championship series, but is a woeful 5-for-42 with runners in scoring position in the WCWS, and went 1-for-6 on Tuesday, with the lone hit not even scoring a run.
But Florida is still 3-1 against Michigan in 2015, still has the nation's best player in Lauren Haeger — who is slightly fresher than Wagner, having worked just six innings in this championship series — and still has a potent offense when it decides to hit. The pessimism that crept in among fans while watching Tuesday's frustrating showing may not last if Florida can strike early, or if Haeger can launch another blast.
And Haeger and the other seniors on this roster — the struggling Bailey Castro, defensive ace Katie Medina, fleet outfielders Jessica Damico, Briana Little, and Francesca Martinez — most certainly don't want this season to end in defeat.
Tonight, the Gators make their last stand.
But, really, they want to dogpile.