For the University of Alabama softball team, the NCAA Super Regional at Florida could be called the “Return of the biscuit” series.
It was in Gainsville that the Crimson Tide came up with its team motto last season, “Risk it for the biscuit.” It was in reference to something then-freshman utility player Caroline Hardy said in the dugout about playing aggressively.
Not only did Alabama win that series against No. 1 Florida, but the slogan continues to serve as a reminder for head coach Patrick Murphy and the Crimson Tide. It definitely was on his mind on Sunday against Minnesota when he windmilled in senior Chandler Dare from first on senior Marisa Runyon’s drive in the first inning.
He thought the ball had gone all the way to the fence, but it hadn’t, and if the shortstop had been turned differently to better make the cutoff throw she might have gotten Dare at the plate.
Instead, the run was the difference in the 1-0 game.
Nevertheless, runs should at a premium again as Alabama goes from playing a team that was ranked No. 1 in one of the major national polls, to the team seeded first in the NCAA Tournament.
— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) May 23, 2017
NCAA Gainesville Super Regional, game times, details
It doesn’t appear that rain will be a factor during the best-of-three series, but there’s a chance that wind could be on Thursday. According to The Weather Channel, the wind will be W, 15 to 25 mph for most of the day, but ease down to around 12 mph around game time. The forecasted temperature is 79 degrees.
The winning team will advance to play in the College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, June 1-7. The teams are in an all-SEC side of the bracket, with the winner team opening against the winner of the Super Regional between Texas A&M at Tennessee.
Game 1: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Game 2: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Game 3: Saturday, 5 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Where: Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
What’s the best way to watch the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional?
ESPN will show the entire series, and with the NBA Western Conference Finals already over moved Friday’s game up an hour to fill the prime-time slot.
Game 1: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2: Friday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 3: Saturday, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN (if necessary)
Announcers: Eric Collins, Amanda Scarborough
What’s the best way to keep up with the Alabama softball games at Florida?
In addition to the TV/video broadcast, other options include:
Tim Walton previewed the Super Regional match-up w/ Alabama, spoke on the mutual respect between teams & Lorenz's success batting leadoff. pic.twitter.com/uzpC64jOMz
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) May 24, 2017
What you should know
- Florida (53-7) won the Gainesville Regional with a 5-0 victory in game seven over Oklahoma State, after losing Game 6 to the Cowgirls, 1-0. Alabama (45-16) advanced out of the Tuscaloosa Regional with a pair of 1-0 wins over Minnesota.
- In the most recent polls, which were released before the regionals, Florida was ranked No. 2 behind Minnesota by the USA Today/NFCA Coaches, No. 2 behind Oregon by ESPN/USA Softball. Alabama was No. 15 and tied for 14th, respectively. In RPI, the Gators were No. 1 and the Crimson Tide 15th. The NCAA selection committee seeded Florida No. 1 and Alabama 16th in the same bracket.
- The Super Regional is expected to be a pitching showdown. Alabama’s Alexis Osorio (22-7, 1.22 ERA, 318 Ks) and Sydney Littlejohn (17-8, 1.28, 183) didn’t give up a run during their regional. UF’s Kelly Barnhill (23-2, 0.35, 310) took a loss, but allowed just four hits and one earned run with three walks and 28 strikeouts. Delanie Gourley (20-4, 0.71, 217) threw a no-hitter against Florida A&M and pitched 12.0 shutout innings.
- It’s the fifth time Alabama and Florida have met in the NCAA Tournament. All were in the Women’s College World Series and won by the Gators. This is the first meeting in a Super Regional.
- The last two times Alabama has visited Florida it won the series. In both cases the Gators were ranked No. 1.
- Alabama is the only school to play in all 13 Super Regional rounds since its inception in 2005. The Crimson Tide are 19-8 (.704) all-time in Super Regional play, winning nine of 12 series, but this is just the fourth time it’ll be the visiting team. Alabama won at Texas A&M in 2005, but lost at Washington (2007) and Tennessee (2013).