Florida Softball: Duality of Gators’ bats on display over the weekend

If we take out game three of the five-game Bubly Invitational, Florida softball averaged 2.6 runs per inning and 10.75 runs per game. They picked up mercy rule wins over Mercer (twice), Louisiana, and Rutgers.

But the pesky problem of what did happen in game three makes for a frustrating data point during any otherwise cathartic weekend.

Florida softball: Have mercy

When the bats for the Florida Gators are on, it’s safe to start making plans for after the fifth inning because Florida has mercy-ruled opponents now in 14 of their 19 total wins.

The Gators kicked off their weekend with a 14-3 win over Mercer. Kendra Falby was 4-4 and Charla Echols had seven RBIs. Olivia Gigate also homered twice and the game was over after the fifth inning.

Florida beat down the Bears once again on Saturday with an 8-0 victory. Falby was 3-3. Reagan Walsh was 2-2 with a walk, and we had an appearance from Pal Egan as she hit a two-run homer. Sunday’s action was more of the same as Florida put up 11 runs on Louisiana and 10 runs on Rutgers. Egan, Gigante, Skylar Wallace, and Emily Wilkie all had home runs on the day.

We would feel good about Florida heading into SEC play if we just went by those four games. Louisiana was ranked 24th coming into the weekend and Rutgers was 16-4 before making the trek to Gainesville. We could easily paint the narrative that what happened in California was a fluke and not representative of this squad.

But, the first game against Louisiana highlights the duality that Florida’s bats have in 2023. For just the second time in her career, Rajin Cajun pitcher Meghan Schorman went seven innings and posted a shutout as Louisiana pulled off the 1-0 win. Florida was held to just three hits and two walks. Only twice did Florida softball get a runner to second base or beyond.

The starting pitcher for Louisiana on Sunday when they gave up 11 runs was also Schorman.

And it’s this duality that paints the narrative over the Florida Gators that they are a good team but not an elite team in 2023. They are 19-4, but the only ranked win they can claim is the Louisiana win.

Like last year, they will probably host a Regional round but not a Super Regional round. The fate of their narrative for 2023 might very well depend on how the Super Regional round winds up.