Cool Day for Gator Softball

The Gator softball team won a pair of 11-0 games over Arkansas Saturday, but that wasn't the coolest thing about the day. Florida improved to 48-3 on the year and 25-1 in the SEC, but that wasn't the coolest thing of the day.

Stacey Nelson pitched seven scoreless innings in two games improving her record to 239-3 on the year, but that wasn't the collect thing about the day.

The Gators hit three home runs to break the school record in that category, but even that wasn't the coolest thing of the day.

No, the coolest thing of the day was the emotional, heart felt standing ovation the Gators gave to senior Kim Waleszonia when she returns to the team after being out for two months.

Waleszonia entered the first game of the doubleheader in the second inning and received one of the longest ovations I can remember for a player returning in the middle of the season. No, it wasn't as loud as the returns of Ted Dupay or Kerwin Bell, but it was impressive nonetheless.

Waleszonia flied out in her first at bat, but received a similar ovation for her second trip to the plate and responded with a two-run single that helped the Gators to a game one win after just four and a half innings.

Florida's All-Time leader in hits, stolen bases and runs among other things may not be back at full speed before the end of the season, but with the SEC tournament two weeks away she's getting close.

And THAT was the coolest thing about Saturday at the park with the Gator softball team.

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Stephanie Brombacher pitched the final two innings of game one that we televised on Sun Sports. We credited her with a save, though the rules don't call for it under those circumstances. So if you see a stat sheet that does not credit her with any saves, blame me, not the stats person.

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The Gators are virtually certain to host an NCAA Tournament Regional as well as a Super Regional, assuming they advance. Tim Walton's team reached the College World Series a year ago and is considered a strong favorite to return to Oklahoma City again this year.

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Tim Walton's team is 118-8 over the past two years. An ambitious team might hope to win 80 percent of its games. The Gators could lose their next 20 in a row and still have a winning percentage about 80 percent since the start of the 2008 season.

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The Gators have hot 65 home runs this season. Florida opponents have hit four. That's right, just four. Stacey Nelson has not allowed a HR in over 190 innings of pitching this season.


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