Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tough Weekend for Top Teams

Things haven't gone very well this weekend for the nation's elite teams.

No. 1 LSU dropped two of three at Kentucky, avoiding a sweep with a 2-0 victory today.

Other top teams won the first two games against their respective unranked opponents, but were unable to complete sweeps.

One "broom-free" zone was Starkville, Mississippi, where No. 3/2 Florida sought to make it three straight over Mississippi State. However, the Gators today gave up a five-spot to the Bulldogs in the bottom of the seventh, to drop the game 5-3.

As shown earlier today on the Big Ten Network, No. 4 Michigan failed in its bid for a three-game sweep over Iowa. Amidst light Ann Arbor snow flurries, the Wolverines squandered a 4-0 lead by allowing the Hawkeyes three runs in the sixth (including two homers) and three in the seventh, for a 6-4 final.

Meanwhile, No. 2/3 Oregon has defeated is currently hosting Washington in the deciding game of the teams' three-game series.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday Conclusion to Florida-Alabama Series

In rare Monday action, Florida claimed a 4-1 victory in Game 2 of its series at Alabama (a continuation from Saturday's suspended game). However, the Tide bounced back to take the nightcap, 5-1. Here's an article link.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Florida-Bama & OU-LSU Updates

With inclement weather forecast for Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Florida and Alabama are playing a Saturday doubleheader and a single game Monday.

In Game 1, Florida breaks through with the game's first run with a single in the top of the sixth... This turns out to be the only run, as the Gators win.

The Crimson Tide takes an early lead in Game 2, as the Gator catcher's errant throw to third on an Alabama steal attempt allows the runner to continue home.

Game 2 is postponed due to rain, with Alabama leading 1-0 in the top of the fifth. The game will continue Monday afternoon. According to the linked article, "Florida has a runner at third with nobody out."

***

Oklahoma at LSU has been in a weather delay, but per this Twitter tweet at around 4:15 Central, the game should be starting soon...

LSU leads 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth...

...And closes it out 10-2 via run-rule (6 innings).

Friday, March 20, 2015

LSU Shuts Out Oklahoma Under the Friday Night Lights

Unanimous No. 1 LSU has just shut out No. 6 Oklahoma 1-0. The teams will play again tomorrow in this nonconference series.

Another big series this weekend is in SEC play, with No. 2/3 Florida traveling to No. 4 (tie)/5 Alabama   Action gets underway Saturday.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

LSU Romps in Series-Decider Over Florida

LSU defeats Florida 10-3 today, to win the weekend series. Look for the Tigers to be No. 1 in the next set of polls.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pitcher's Duel -- NOT...... LSU Blows 9-0 Lead, But Defeats Florida 14-10

BELOW IS MY LIVE-BLOGGING OF THE GAME (SHOWN ON ESPN/SEC NETWORK), MOST RECENT ON TOP:

Florida down to its final three outs to keep its perfect record alive...

Strikeout.

Ground-out to second, although fielder's bobble makes it interesting!

LSU center-fielder loses fly-ball in sun, Gators stay alive with runner on second.

Ground-out to the pitcher. LSU wins 14-10. Gators are now 28-1, and Tigers, 26-1. Tomorrow's game should be for No. 1 in the next polls.

***

LSU puts the first two batters of the seventh on base -- a single and a beaten-out bunt.

A strike-out, a non-scoring single, and another strike-out give Tigers the bases loaded with two out.

LSU's Kellsi Kloss matches Florida's grand-slam the previous inning with one of her own, putting the Tigers up 14-10.

***

Florida loads the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth, bringing up the tying run.

An infield pop-up and a strikeout get LSU within one out of ending the threat.

Unbelievable! Grand-slam to tie the game 10-10. It's Taylore Fuller's third home-run of the day! As noted on her player webpage, Fuller also hit a dramatic grand-slam against LSU last year. Intentional walks with the bases loaded are controversial, but maybe that's what LSU should have done with Fuller, especially with two outs.

LSU gets third out. Heading to seventh inning.

***

A solo homer gives Florida a run in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the Gators' deficit to 10-6.

***

LSU ups its lead to 10-5 in the top of the fifth.

***

Currently airing on ESPN's SEC Network, LSU is now batting in the top of the fifth, leading No. 1 and unbeaten Florida 9-5.

The Tigers roared out of the gate, scoring all nine of their runs in the top of the first.

The Gators scored three in the bottom of the first and two in the bottom of the fourth (thanks to five hit-by-pitches). Florida actually had the tying run at the plate in the fourth, with the bases loaded and two outs, but couldn't capitalize.

Here's a link to follow the scoring.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Florida Edges LSU in Battle of Unbeatens

No. 1 Florida has edged LSU 4-3 on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh. The Gators are now 28-0 and the Tigers, 25-1. The SEC rivals meet again Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Florida Remains Perfect Despite Tough Schedule; Sets Up Battle of the Unbeatens Friday with LSU

No. 1 Florida went 5-0 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, California this past weekend, raising the Gators' record to 27-0. Two of UF's wins at the Garman were over Michigan (by a 7-4 score) and Oregon (5-1). Last week's ESPN.com/USA Softball poll had Michigan at No. 2 and Oregon at No. 3, whereas the USA Today/NFCA poll had the Wolverines and Ducks reversed (links to the polls are available in the right-hand column).

Two other teams creating some buzz at the Garman Classic were Auburn (No. 18/14 in the two polls) and Arizona State (No. 23/22). Auburn went 4-1 at the tournament, beating both Arizona State and No. 12/13 Arizona, among others, and losing only to host Cal State Fullerton. ASU's only loss was to Auburn, with the Sun Devils winning four games, most impressively over Michigan and No. 10/9 Baylor.

Meanwhile, back in SEC country, No. 4/5 LSU upped its overall record to 25-0, with a three-game sweep over conference rival Arkansas. This coming weekend, LSU will visit Florida in a battle of the unbeatens (single games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Michigan Moves Up to No. 2 in National Poll

Michigan (18-1) has moved up to No. 2 in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll, behind No. 1 Florida (21-0). Oregon (16-2) is No. 3 and LSU (21-0), No. 4.

The Wolverines' only loss this season came on Opening Day (February 7) to none other than the Gators, by a 2-1 score. Michigan was No. 8 at the time.

Oregon lost to Florida this past weekend, 3-0. The Ducks had lost at Baylor the previous weekend.

Michigan and Oregon will each get a rematch with Florida at this coming weekend's Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, California, beginning Thursday.

UPDATE (March 4): MLive News Service provides an in-depth look at Michigan's very successful opening month.