FOUR BITS: baseball, softball, tennis, SEC TV

By Adam Silverstein
February 20, 2012

1 » Florida Gators baseball (2-1), despite losing the third game of their season-opening series to the No. 16 Cal State Fullerton Titans (1-2), remained the No. 1 team in the country on Monday when the new polls were announced. After winning their first game of the season 7-3, Florida beat CSF 5-2 Saturday evening before falling 8-5 on Sunday.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Karsten Whitson (1-0) was erratic through five innings Saturday, allowing two earned runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Junior reliever Austin Maddox (1) came on in the sixth and earned the save by striking out three batters in four one-hit innings. Freshman designated hitter Taylor Gushue (1-3) – named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday – led the way with two RBIs (on a bases-clearing triple) and a walk, while senior first baseman Preston Tucker and junior catcher Mike Zunino had two hits and a RBI apiece.

The Gators took an early 3-0 lead Sunday, but junior left-hander Brian Johnson was pulled after striking out five and walking one while giving up two hits in four innings. Sophomore RHP Jonathon Crawford (0-1) replaced him and imploded, giving up four earned runs on five hits while only recording one out. Florida’s bullpen struggled, and UF only added two runs down the stretch. Junior shortstop Nolan Fontana (1-4) and senior left fielder Daniel Pigott (1-5) each had two RBIs in the game, while Tucker (in at right field) was the most efficient from the plate, going 3-4 with a RBI and walk.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read three more BITS in this post.]2 » No. 1 Gators softball (9-0) continued their dominant start to the 2012 season with two more wins over the weekend following their 8-0 victory in the series opener against the Michigan State Spartans (1-7). Florida freshman RHP Alyssa Bache (1-0), in her first appearance of the season, came close to a perfect game in her start, striking out four in a complete game and tossing a no-hitter through four of her five innings. The Gators run-ruled the Spartans 11-1 with freshman 1B/DH Lauren Haeger (2-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) and junior C Brittany Schutte (3-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) leading the way.

Florida was just as dominant on Sunday with a 15-4 win over Michigan State though Haeger (3-0) did give up four earned runs on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in her complete game victory. Sophomore SS Cheyenne Coyle (1-2) had a homer and four RBIs with a run and a walk and was supported by Schutte (1-1, 4 R, 3 BB) and junior RF/DH Kelsey Horton (1-2, BB), who had two RBIs each. Schutte took home SEC Player of the Week honors on Monday, and Haeger picked up a Freshman of the Week nod.

3 » Even though Florida lost last week to Stanford and fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in the national rankings, the women’s tennis team (5-1) got a bit of good news Saturday night. The Connecticut women’s basketball team fell to St. John’s that evening, ending a 99-game home winning streak dating back to March 6, 2007. It was the longest such streak in NCAA women’s athletics and second-longest nationally among any collegiate sport. UF women’s tennis now owns the longest home winning streak as the Gators have won 98 consecutive matches at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, FL. Florida will try to match UConn’s 99-game streak against No. 13 North Carolina on Sunday and can surpass it next Wednesday against Florida State.

4 » According to the Times Free Press of Chattanooga, TN, the annual football game between Florida and Tennessee that has been aired on CBS every year “since the network became the primary broadcaster of SEC games in 1996” may get bumped in 2012 because of a more attractive matchup between Alabama and Arkansas. The Alabama-Arkansas game, which is normally set to occur a week later in the season, was bumped up a week because of all of the shuffling that had to be done to accommodate Texas A&M and Missouri in the SEC’s schedule for next year. The paper reports that Florida-Tennessee “is the only league contest CBS has shown all 16 years, and it has been televised in prime time on five occasions.”[/EXPAND]


  1. Dan S says:

    Can’t blame CBS for bumping Tennessee game. Tennessee has been down for a while and we haven’t shown much ourselves lately. One less time hearing Gary Danielson is fine with me.

  2. uf_84 says:

    Agree with you, Dan S. UF / Tenn are nothing more than a couple of has been programs right now and there aint a whole lot of hope for either team being much better this year. Bama / Ark is a way more attractive game.

    • Daniel M. says:

      Has been? A new staff, a rebuilding team, and a bunch of young talent competing in the toughest league in college football is far from being a “has been.” Has Been’s stink for ten years and regularly get their ass handed to them by inferior teams. That is not what UF football is.

      • uf_84 says:

        Sorry dude. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that you had to suck for a whole decade before you could use the “has been” term. Thanks for the definition. Guess it’s only been two for us and this year will make three, so this gives us a little more time. I stand corrected.
        I was only alluding to the fact that both teams have taken a big fall from their glory days and CBS would be foolish to show this game over the Tide / Hogs match up. Thats all. Didn’t mean to step on a nerve.

  3. Dan S says:

    Please note I did not say has been. Tennessee is well on their way to being a has been but we should be back sooner than later. Go Gators!

  4. Joe says:

    Granted Crawford imploding didn’t help but what killed us Sunday was what killed us all last year, situational hitting. Going 2-12 with runners in scoring position is what did us in and alot of that was guys in scoring position with no outs and we couldn’t get the job done.

  5. CeeThree says:

    surprised to see the UF-UT game is the only one CBS has shown every year, I’d think UF-UGA, Bama-Tenn, and Bama-AU would all be candidates for that distinction as well. It kind of sucks, but is understandable.

    I also can’t complain with less Verne. The guy never calls anyone the right name. He never could figure out who our RB was.. Demps was Rainey, Rainey was Moody, Moody was Gillislee, and Gillislee was Demps. Never forget when “Solomon Wilcotts” blocked a punt last season. Or when “Aaron Cox” threw a pass for UGA vs us last year. I also lost count the number of times he called Justin Hunter “Jason” in the 1Q of the UF-UT game either. How he gets paid for what he does is a mystery and a crime.

  6. Ken (CA) says:

    was he relieved due to pitch count? no injury or anything i hope?

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