Florida eliminated from 2018 Women’s College World Series by Oklahoma

By Adam Silverstein
June 2, 2018
Florida eliminated from 2018 Women’s College World Series by Oklahoma
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Image Credit: ESPN

No. 2 Florida Gators softball clearly had its confidence shaken after a blown call led to an unfortunate loss on Friday, falling 2-0 to the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners in an elimination game Saturday night during the 2018 Women’s College World Series.

Florida only had four base runners on the evening and struggled to mount any legitimate opposition to an Oklahoma team that entered the WCWS with just four losses on the season.

Junior right-handed pitcher Kelly Barnhill (2.0 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, K) started her second straight game for the Gators but left after just two innings, clearly not bringing her best stuff to the table. Senior Aleshia Ocasio (4.0 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K) finished the day in quality fashion.

A solo homer in the first netted the Sooners their first run of the game, and a wild pitch in the fifth allowed another run to cross the plate. UF hardly threatened during the contest, allowing OU to stay aggressive throughout as it looked to get past one of the country’s best teams and into the national semifinal on Sunday.

Florida had gone 21-2 entering the WCWS before falling to UCLA on Friday in a game largely decided by a confounding blown call at home plate midway through the game. Rather than needing a single victory on Sunday to advance, the Gators were forced to make an attempt to beat the two-time defending champion Sooners on Saturday night before potentially playing a two-game series on Sunday.

The developments in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were certainly unfortunate for Florida, which advanced to the WCWS for the ninth time it he last 11 seasons and was looking to win its first title since 2015.

Rumors were running rampant on Saturday that head coach Tim Walton was considering leading UF after receiving an offer from Texas. There is nothing definitive indicating Walton will leave the Gators, which he has led since 2006. Walton, a former Oklahoma baseball player with no connection to UT, has a .839 winning percentage at Florida.

3 Comments

  1. tom says:

    How frustrated is Walton in dealing with Barnhill? It seems she is very fragile. He definitely chewed her out after that homerun. She’s too good to make mistakes like that. And her woes throwing the ball to first are difficult to understand. She needs a sports psychologist.

    UF needs two more top tier pitchers and a better hitting lineup. The offense goes quiet too often and it’s difficult to depend on just one or two pitchers. You need that extra arm to depend on, and especially need a righty and a lefty.

    That said, they were on the right trajectory until that play at the plate. They were on track to make it to the championship series again.

    Walton is on the verge of taking over softball. Last year it took a 17-inning marathon and this year an umpire stole it from them. A couple small pieces and avoiding craziness like last nights umpire and UF will equal anything and everything that the PAC12 has ever done.

    Hopefully Walton stays. He’s built this program and should stay for the long haul. And he’s on the cusp of pure legendary output.

  2. tom says:

    How long does it take comments to post here?

  3. Bruce Allen says:

    I was saddened by their loss and will miss seeing Ocasio pitch hit and catch. I hate UCLA and their cheating umpire’s who stole the game from the gators

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