Final: OSU 2, Florida 1
Just four days after a jubilant Gators softball team raced across the diamond celebrating yet another College World Series berth, Florida finds themselves, once again, on the brink of elimination.
The margin of error for this team has been microscopic all season, and Thursday’s loss to Oklahoma State in the WCWS opener was just the latest example.
The Cowgirls managed just two hits against Florida’s senior ace Kelly Barnhill. Both were solo homers to OSU starting pitcher Samantha Show.
Show put OK State up 1-0 with a solo shot to right-center in the first. But the Gators fought back. Catcher Jordan Roberts hit a solo homer to the exact same spot in the second to tie the contest.
Show came up to hit in the top of the sixth and head coach Tim Walton once again elected to pitch to the senior hurler (she had grounded out to first in her second at-bat, after all).
Show turned on a 1-0 pitch and sent it to the top row of the bleachers in straight-away center.
The Gators mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Sophia Reynoso and Jordan Roberts reached base with no one out. Jade Caraway grounded out to short, with the easy force coming at third. Another fielder’s choice by Jordan Matthews put runners on the corners for senior Alex Voss. Voss’ grounder to second signaled the end of the rally, and the end of the ball game.
Barnhill pitched well enough to earn a victory, but OK State’s Samantha Show stole the show in the circle for the opposition.
- Amanda Lorenz: 2-3, 2B
- Jordan Roberts: 2-3, HR, RBI
- Kelly Barnhill: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 9 K, 1 BB
- Samantha Show: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB; 2-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI
- Florida: 0-8 with runners in scoring position
While I don’t make it habit to second guess Tim Walton, the decision to let slapper Jade Caraway hit away in the seventh is baffling. It was the perfect situation to bunt the runners over to second and third. Had it worked, Jordan Matthews’ groundout would have produced the tying run.
While Walton doesn’t need my approval, it certainly was head scratching.
Florida chances to advance to the WCWS Championship Series took a big hit with the loss to Oklahoma State. Florida will take on the loser of the Alabama-Oklahoma game that is currently playing out.
The game is slated for a 1:30 PM start (eastern timezone).