Softball Enjoys Record Breaking Weekend

I've written twice previously about the Gator softball team and at the rate things are going, I won't be finished anytime soon. Florida continued its remarkable season with a weekend sweep of the Kentucky Wildcats.

The Gators broke the school record with its 51st win of the year Sunday afternoon. The win, an 8-0 rout extended their school record winning streak to 24 games and upped their run total to 320, another UF record.

The record breaking is far from over. The Gators are hitting an incredible .317 as a team, far better than the UF record of .272 set ten years ago. The Gators are also on pace for the best on-base percentage (.402, .352 in '06) and slugging percentage (.488, .413 in '05) in school history. The Gators need four more homers to set a new UF mark with 50 on the year.

Florida's pitching is also on pace for a number of new standards. Opponents are hitting just .178 this year. The previous best is .207. The staff ERA of 1.00 is way better than the current record of 1.40 set just last year.

Individually, Stacey Nelson (33-2, 0.71) is on the verge of breaking her own record of 34 wins and Jenny Gladding's ERA mark of 0.78. She needs 31 more strikeouts to break the record of 285 that she and Gladding currently share. Ali Gardiner, who leads that Gators with a .404 batting average is connecting at a pace that would shatter the current standard of .377 set by Lindsay Cameron. Aja Paculba (48) and Kim Waleszonia (45) are likely to be the first two Gators to score 50-plus runs in a season.

Amazingly, despite their remarkable season the Gators are in a very tight race in the SEC. Florida's 21-1 record in conference play is marginally better than that of Alabama (23-2). The Gators have two more SEC series to play, hosting Auburn next weekend before ending the season at Tennessee. ‘Bama has next weekend off and will finish the regular season at Georgia. The Gators may just have to win all six to bring home Florida's fifth SEC title of the season.

By the way, all of Florida's SEC Titles this school year have been won by women's teams.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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