In spite of all the March Madness today (that VCU loss was an absolute killer), I was able to get out to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to watch the #2 Gators take on #7 Alabama in SEC play. The Gators dropped Game 1 of this three game series to the Tide by a score of 4-2.
True freshman Delanie Gourley got the start for Florida tonight and had just one off inning as Alabama scored three runs in the top of the first inning. After a shaky first, Gourley settled down and allowed just one more run as she struck out seven hitters in five innings. However, she was still pegged with her first loss of the year as the Gator offense could not get anything clicking until the very last inning. Despite their seventh inning rally, the hole the Gators put themselves in to begin the game proved to be too much to overcome. Even if Florida hadn't gone down early, it just wasn't their night at the plate. They only managed two hits and could not bring runners home when the opportunities presented themselves until the seventh inning. I enjoyed this good SEC matchup even though it did not go the Gators' way. They need to remember that they are the defending SEC champions and will be getting everybody's best shot in conference play throughout the year. Games like this will get this squad battle tested for the even bigger ones that lie ahead in the SEC Tournament and Oklahoma City.
The #2 Gators (29-3) now fall to 4-3 in SEC play and will look to hand #7 Alabama (26-4, 7-0 SEC) its first conference loss in Game 2 of the series at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
*All stats accredited to Gatorzone.com