2013 Softball World Series Gainsville Super Regional Breakdown

2013 Softball World Series Gainsville Super Regional Breakdown
Location: Gainesville, Florida


#2 Florida vs. UAB


How They Advanced:
No big surprise that the Gainesville region came down to the Bulls and the #2 Gators, but a funny thing or two happened on the way to Sunday. As the top seed, Florida quickly dispatched Hampton (MEAC Champ) 7-1 in the opening game, though the Gators actually trailed 1-0 early. Alyssa Bache fired a two hitter with support from a balanced offensive attack. Meanwhile, South Florida’s Lindsay Richardson threw five innings of one-hit, 11 strikeout ball, and in typical Ken Erikson fashion was pulled in favor of Sara Nevins, who picked up a 1-0 win over a very game Georgia Southern Eagle squad. The bottom of the lineup set the table with the Goff sisters reaching on back-to-back singles in the 8th, and a Kourtney Salvarola sacrifice bunt provided the win.

South Florida and Florida squared off Saturday and the Bulls took advantage of an erratic Hannah Rogers early. With bases loaded in the first, the Bulls pushed across a run on a botched double play ball and led 1-0. Unfortunately for USF that is all they could muster. A walk, a bunt and a Lauren Haeger home run in the bottom of the first had the Gators looking forward to Sunday. They poured it on and mercy ruled the Bulls 11-1 (5 innings) in the worst outing of Sarah Nevin’s career.

With their backs against the wall, USF started Lindsey Richardson in a must win game against Georgia Southern. Richardson was cruising along with a 1-0 lead when Coach Erikson inserted Nevins. The move backfired as Nevins gave up the tying run and the game moved to extra innings. Three straight free passes in the eighth saw Richardson return. On the edge of ending her career, Richardson would simply collect four strikeouts and a groundout, USF pushed across a run in the ninth, and the Bulls survived to fight another day.

Despite Sara Nevins’ 7 earned runs in 1.1 innings against the very same Gators a day before, she started the elimination game on Sunday for the Bulls. Fine for three innings, an illegal pitch to start the fourth led to two Gator runs courtesy of four walks (intentionally to Lauren Haeger), and a hit batsman. With Nevins still tossing a no hitter but with Florida runners at first and second, Coach Erikson inserted Senior Lindsey Richardson who would record a strikeout to end the inning. It was too little too late, and despite collecting only one hit on the day, The Gators closed out the Bulls 2-0 on Hannah Rogers’ three hitter and advance to the Super Regional at home.


Louisville Regional:
Up the road in Louisville, Rachel Le Coq gave up but one run and three hits, but the #15 Cardinals struggled getting past Fort Wayne 2-1. Louisville could muster only six hits of their own, and didn’t post a run until the fifth. UAB doubled up UCLA 6-3 on the strength of a home run by Chandler Orr in a wild 3rd inning scoring flurry.

On Saturday, UAB pulled off a big upset in downing Louisville 7-4. The Blazers, down 4-1, rallied for 4 runs in the 5th inning and 2 more in the 6th. Whitney Fletcher collected 3 RBIs to go with Kirsten McGrath’s 3 hits. In the loser’s bracket, UCLA scored 8 times in the last 3 frames to down Fort Wayne 8-0. Bruin pitching held Fort Wayne to 3 hits.

In yet another surprise, the host Cardinals were steamrolled 19-2 by UCLA in the elimination game Saturday. The Bruins used a combination of 3 home runs and Louisville errors to advance to Sunday’s matchup against UAB.

Alabama Birmingham had a 1-0 lead over UCLA in the top of the sixth, but the Bruins’ Ally Carda erased the lead with a solo lead off homer. Four singles later, UCLA had a 4-1 victory margin, forcing a final game.

In that final, UAB scored in the first and the Bruins answered in the top of the second. The score remained tied for the next eight innings until UCLA pushed across an unearned run in the top of the 11th. Unbelievably, Alabama-Birmingham used two wild pitches to scratch a run of their own and it was tied again at 2-all. The game would end in the 13th on a Whitney Fletcher triple that drove in the winning run from first base. Leigh Streetman pitched the final 7 2/3 innings in relief to garner the win. The Blazers pulled off the upset in winning the Region and will play in the Super Regional at Gainesville.


Gainesville Super Regional:
The Gators will be at home with a good chance to reach the Series. Barely tested in three games, Rogers got some rest and the bats got some practice. Even with Sunday’s one hit offensive output, The Gators posted 20 runs-for against just two given up and hit home runs in bunches. Unseeded UAB has a tough road ahead and will need to keep Florida’s power game in check to be competitive. Look for a Gator sweep in Gainesville.


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