Gainesville Regional Preview
#5 Florida Gators (44-15)
Stanford Cardinal (32-18)
Boise State Broncos (34-14)
Boston Terriers (37-18)
The Gainesville Regional opens Friday as the NCAA postseason is officially underway. The Gators nabbed a national no. 5 seed after sweeping through the competition in the SEC Tournament.
Despite finishing with just a 12-12 record in league play over the course of the regular season, the Gators appeared to peak at just the right time. Kelly Barnhill, Amanda Lorenz, and Hannah Adams led the Gators to their second straight SEC Tournament title. The Gators are the highest rated SEC team in the field of 64 (six SEC programs earned national seeds).
|TEAM||BATTING AVERAGE||NATIONAL RANK|
EARNED RUN AVERAGE
Player(s) to watch:
FLORIDA– Sr. Amanda Lorenz (.421 BA, 11 HR, 40 RBI), Jr. Kendyl Lindaman (.341 BA, 14 HR, 51 RBI), Sr. Kelly Barnhill (30-11, 1.57 ERA), Fr. Elizabeth Hightower (4-1, 1.89 ERA)
STANFORD– Sr. Carolyn Lee (11-9, 3.36 ERA), Jr. Teaghan Cowles (.377 BA, 6 HR, 19 RBI), Jr. Hannah Howell (.310 BA, .370 OBP)
BOISE STATE– Sr. Kora Wade (.418 BA, 25-28 SB), So. Ashlyn Adams (.369 BA, 37 RBI), So. Gianna Mancha (12-7, 3.64 ERA)
BOSTON– So. Ali DuBois (23-9, 1.32 ERA), Fr. Emily Gant (13-7, 1.56 ERA), Sr. Alex Heinen (.333 BA, 10 HR, 38 RBI)
Florida has the best pitcher and best hitter in the regional. Kelly Barnhill and Amanda Lorenz have both earned SEC Player of the Year honors in their career and both were finalists for National Player of the Year just a season ago.
The Gators will have to rely on timely hitting to go along with solid starts in the circle, but should be able to do so against teams that have struggled against top programs. Stanford, Boise State, and Boston have combined to go 20-25 on the road while the Gators are 18-8 in the friendly confines of Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Florida should win the regional, and it shouldn’t go to a do-or-die game on Sunday.