Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mississippi State at Florida

No. 1 Florida and unranked Mississippi State are going to extra innings on Sunday, tied at a run apiece. The game is being televised on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs are trying to salvage a game in the series, the Gators having taken the first two.

UPDATES: No scoring in the eighth; MSU up in the top of the ninth... Amanda Lorenz hits a two-out, two-run homer for Florida in the bottom of the tenth, for a 3-1 Gator win.

No. 2 Michigan easily swept Maryland, as the Wolverines extended their winning streak to 10 games.

No. 3 Auburn rebounded from a mid-week doubleheader split with No. 8 Florida State to sweep Georgia.

After dropping its series opener to Kentucky, No. 4 Alabama took games two and three to win the series.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Florida and Michigan Keep Rolling

No. 5 Louisiana (Lafayette) fell flat in its attempt to join the nation's most elite teams, getting swept in a three-game non-conference series at No. 1 Florida. The Gators won by scores of 5-1, 14-1, and 3-0 this weekend.

No. 2 Michigan* likewise scored a sweep, topping Ohio State by scores of 8-0, 5-1, and 5-3. Though the Buckeyes were not nationally ranked, they brought a 9-1-1 conference record into Ann Arbor. In Sunday's game, televised on the Big Ten Network, Ohio State center-fielder Taylor White did all she could to keep her team in the game. White hit an inside-the-park homer and made two spectacular catches (one running toward left on a deep fly and the other charging in to snag a blooper). OSU led 3-2 in the fifth inning, but UM's Tera Blanco came up with two runners on and drilled a shot to the one place White couldn't track it down -- over the fence.

No. 3 Auburn annihilated Arkansas with three straight run-rule shutouts: 21-0, 23-0, and 10-0.

No. 4 Alabama took two of three from Texas A&M, but did get walloped 14-1 in the finale.

Oklahoma, ranked No. 9 and 12 in the two national polls, continues to run away with the Big 12 race, raising its conference mark to 9-1 with a sweep of Texas.

No. 6  Oregon, which was off this weekend, is setting the pace in the Pac 12 at 10-2.

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*Michigan and Auburn were tied at No. 2 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll; Michigan was No. 2 and Auburn No. 3 in the USA Today/NFCA poll.

Friday, April 15, 2016

No. 1 Florida Hosts No. 5 Louisiana (Lafayette) in Weekend Series

This weekend's top series is a non-conference match-up, as Florida hosts Louisiana (Lafayette). A series preview is available here.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

No. 1 Michigan Takes Tight Series at Nebraska

Sierra Lawrence, who hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh Saturday for insurance runs in No. 1 Michigan's 4-1 win over Nebraska, crushed a two-run, seventh-inning home run again on Sunday (video via Twitter) to give the Wolverines an 8-6 lead, which held up. Michigan thus took the series two games to one, after Nebraska had taken Friday's opener.

As fervent a Michigan fan as I am, even I don't think the Wolverines are the No. 1 team in the nation. It's going to take more than the one series loss Florida suffered last week to Alabama for me to believe the Gators should be dethroned.

Monday, April 04, 2016

UM's Hutchins Now Leads in All-Time D-I Softball Wins

As this ESPN-W article concisely states it:

With an 8-0 victory over Indiana on Saturday, [Michigan's Carol] Hutchins got her 1,458th win and passed Fresno State's Margie Wright as the winningest coach in Division I softball history. Hutchins, who is in her 32nd season as coach of the Wolverines, has a record of 1,458-474-4.

The University of Michigan athletics website, MGoBlue.com, features a "Hutchins by the Numbers" infographic.

One can argue that the B1G is not a deep conference in terms of quality opposition, and that this helps Coach "Hutch" pile on the wins. However, the Wolverines annually play one of the nation's toughest nonconference schedules.

The aforementioned ESPN-W article notes that Arizona's Mike Candrea is only slightly behind Hutchins, with 1,450 career wins.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

UF Blanked for First Time This Year; Bama Wins Series

Alabama shut out Florida 3-0 today, giving the Crimson Tide the series, two games to one (article). It is the first time the Gators have been shut out this season.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Alabama at Florida Updates

Currently on ESPN2, No. 7 Alabama is at No. 1 Florida. The Crimson Tide leads 2-1 after 3 & 1/2. But for a tag-out play at home plate to end the top of the fourth, Bama would have been up 3-1.

A Taylor Schwarz homer in the bottom of the fourth ties the game, 2-2.

Florida goes up 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth. A single drives in the run on a close play at the plate, but the inning also ends on a tag-out at the dish.

The Gators' lead holds up, as 3-2 is the final score.

The Tide won last night's series opener, 2-1. The Gators don't lose much at all, so a two-game losing streak (if it happens) would certainly be rare!