The undefeated and No. 1 ranked Florida Gators will start SEC play this weekend against LSU and the Gators will look to build upon their 27-0 start that is the best start in school history.
Florida is coming off of one of the toughest weekends you will ever see a team go through as the Gators had to defeat #2 Oregon, #3 Michigan and #13 Arizona in a span of 24 hours in order to remain unbeaten.
That was the toughest weekend to date but this weekend the Gators will face #3 LSU, who is also undefeated, in a 3 game series that may prove to be even tougher than last weekend.
With that being said let’s take a look at how both teams got to this point undefeated.
The road to undefeated
Florida has played by the far the tougher of the schedules as the Gators have defeated #2 Oregon twice in neutral site games, defeated #3 Michigan twice in neutral site games, defeated #13 Arizona in a neutral site game and also #20 UCF in a home game.
In total, the Gators are 11-0 at home, 4-0 on the road and 12-0 in neutral site games, which gets you to the 27-0 mark they are at now.
LSU on the other hand has played a pretty weak schedule that sees the Tigers best win come against #13 Arizona in a neutral site game and has played the likes of Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State and Hofstra State multiple times throughout the early part of the schedule that included mostly home games and no true road games.
In total LSU is 20-0 at home and 5-0 in neutral site games and has also swept a three-game series against Arkansas this year.
The battle of the unbeaten:
If the record doesn’t make the teams evenly matched then the stats surely will, as these teams mirror each other in just about every category and in must the Gators and Tigers rank 1 and 2 in the SEC so let’s breakdown this matchup of the unbeaten.
In the batter’s box:
Florida comes with a team batting average of .323 while scoring 7.85 runs per game and slugging close to .600 through 27 games.
LSU heads to Gainesville with a .375 batting average while scoring 7.96 runs per game and slugging just over .600 this year.
The edge here goes to LSU by the slightest of edge.
In the circle:
This where Florida has been dominating this year as the Gators three pitchers have combined for a 0.76 ERA in 166 innings pitched and have struck out 231 batters or 1 ½ batters per inning whichever you prefer to use. The Gators have only given up 29 free passes this year and only allowed six home runs through 27 games.
LSU’s four pitchers have also put together a solid year with a 0.86 ERA in 154 innings pitched and striking out 181 batters or 1.1 batters per innings.
The Tigers have only allowed seven home runs this year which will be test this weekend and have only six batters this year which will definitely be tested against Florida who have been hit 62 times so far this season.
Florida gets the edge here but again it’s a slight edge.
Players to watch:
Lauren Haeger has been the Gators leader this year with a batting average of .380, 9 home runs and 34 RBI’s with an on base percentage of .490 and in the circle she is 11-0 with a 0.59 ERA while throwing seven complete games.
The Gators wouldn’t be where they are today without leadoff hitter and speedster Kelsey Stewart who is the engine that starts things up for Florida and is batting .379 with a .466 on base percentage and 12 steals this year.
I have to mention the brilliant work of freshman Aleshia Ocasio who is 9-0 thi syear with 0.69 ERA and has thrown six complete games and has beaten #2 Oregon and #3 Michigan already this year.
Blanka Bell is the Tigers leading hitter this year with a .514 batting average, eight home runs and 33 RBI’s while getting on base over half the time this year.
Sahvanna Jaquish is the Tigers best power hitter as she has hit 11 home runs and has 45 RBI’s and has only struck out six times in 71 at-bats this year.
In the circle LSU is led by Allie Waljasper who has a 0.43 ERA with a 8-0 record with 7 complete games and has struck out 47 hitters in 48.1 innings pitched.
This weekend is sure to be an enjoyable weekend on the diamond and make sure to stay tuned to GatorCountry.com for all of the latest on these games as here’s is this weekend’s schedule.
Friday at 6:00 P.M.
Saturday at 1.00 P.M. on SEC Network
Sunday at 12:00 P.M. on SEC Network