The No. 3 ranked Florida Gators (33-4, 5-4 SEC) softball team will finally return home for a weekend SEC series and they welcome in the South Carolina Gamecocks (26-12, 2-7 SEC) this weekend.
This will be an odd series as the two teams will play one game on Friday night but will play a doubleheader on Saturday due to Easter holiday on Sunday.
Florida comes into the series looking for a big weekend as the Gators are facing an uphill climb in the SEC conference standings after a tough conference schedule so far.
How the teams have fared in conference play:
Florida comes with a 5-4 record after winning back-to back series against Alabama and Mississippi by winning 2 out of 3 games in each of the series. The Gators started the conference schedule off by losing 2 out of 3 games to LSU in the opening weekend of conference play.
South Carolina comes into the weekend after getting swept by Texas A&M on the road but the Gamecocks did win a series against Tennessee. The Gamecocks did get swept by Missouri to start the conference schedule.
In the batter’s box:
Florida comes into the series with a .303 batting average but have been struggling mightily as of late. The Gators have drawn 167 walks so far this season and have only struck out 82 times this year.
Kelsey Stewart is leading the Gators in hitting with a .415 batting average with 51 hits so far this year and 15 stolen bases.
South Carolina as a team is hitting .298 on the year with 49 home runs but have struck out 201 times already this season.
In the circle:
Florida’s three woman rotation has a team ERA of 1.53 and have struck out 308 hitters in 233.2 innings pitched.
Lauren Haeger is really starting to get hot in the circle as she still stands with a perfect 15-0 record on the year.
South Carolina has a team ERA of 2.47 this year while going 26-12 and striking out 204 hitters in 257.2 innings pitched.
The Gamecocks are mainly relying on two pitchers so far this season and that should bode well for Florida.
Players to watch:
If Florida is looking to have a big weekend then they need Lauren Haeger to get going at the plate as she is now hitting .314 on the year, but is stuck with 9 home runs but hasn’t hit one in SEC play.
Freshman Kayli Kvistad is the Gators new cleanup hitter and she’s hitting .310 on the year with 4 home runs and 25 RBI’s but the Gators need her to drive in more runs in the four hole.
For South Carolina:
Alaynie Page is the Gamecocks leading hitter with a .438 batting average and 12 home runs and 39 RBI’s and she will be someone that Florida will look to keep in control.
In the circle Nickie Blue is the Gamecocks leading pitcher with a 12-4 record and a 1.06 ERA in 24 games this season.
This weekend is should be a good weekend for the Gators on the diamond so be sure to follow along with us all weekend long. Here’s how the schedule looks like for the weekend.
Friday at 6:00 P.M. on ESPN3
Saturday at 1:00 P.M. on ESPN3
Saturday at 3:300 P.M. on ESPN3