Monday June 2, 2008Softball Ends Historic Season
Oklahoma City, OK
The 2008 Gators were also the first team in school history to reach the Women’s College World Series and finished 3-2 in their first appearance, fighting back through the losers bracket to play in the semifinals.
“I want to say what a heck of a season the Florida Gators had,” Head Coach Tim Walton said. “It’s obviously a huge letdown to lose, but the way we win with class and lose with class and the way we display our actions and emotions on the field make me very proud to be the coach. It’s tough to lose, but I don’t know of any other team that has gone or ever will go 70-5. It’s unbelievable.”
The final game of the season came down to the ninth inning. With two outs, Macie Morrow knocked a hit through the right side. Kelsey Spittler drove a triple down the right field line, scoring Morrow for the 1-0 lead. Spittler was thrown out at third after running past the base for the last out of the inning, but the damage had already been done.
had hope in their final at bat as junior Ali Gardiner (
Kliesing opened the game with a base hit through the right side for Texas
A&M. A sacrifice bunt by Natalie Villarreal moved her to second. A walk to
Megan Gibson from
The Aggies again led off the second inning with a hit, this one by Jami Lobpries. Erin Glasco reached on a fielder’s choice that found both runners safe. The tough Gator defense retired the next three batters in order, again halting the Aggie effort.
defense retired 12 straight Aggie batters before Gibson put a base hit in right
with one out in the top of the sixth.
The top of the seventh brought some tense moments as Nelson walked two batters and had runners at first and second with only one out. The Gators picked off the lead runner with a rare three to five put out at third on a fielder’s choice play for the second out of the inning. Kliesing grounded out to Paculba to end the A&M threat.
Each team put a runner on in the eighth, but was not able to push her across the plate.
Nelson ends her season with a 47-5 record and a 0.75 ERA, the best single season ERA in school history. Gibson earned the win for the Aggies improving to 41-2 on the season going into the championship series.
has a lot of heart and a lot of young girls with the drive to play,” Nelson
said. “We play best when we don’t feel that that the pressure is on us and when
we are just swinging away and having fun. We were definitely just having
fun and winning the past few days. We didn’t win a national championship,
but this is