Things got started early Wednesday morning with 2019 SEC Tournament play at Davis Diamond with a play-in type game between host team Texas A&M and Mississippi State. While both teams wanted the win Texas A&M’s playoffs hopes almost certainly depended on a good showing in the tourney to make it into the NCAA Playoffs, unfortunately for the Aggies Mississippi State won 3-2.
Next up on the day was Florida verses South Carolina. In a surprise move by Gator head coach Tim Walton he started freshman Elizabeth Hightower over senior ace Kelly Barnhill in the circle. For South Carolina they went with Dixie Raley. Mother Nature had a surprise too for the game as first lightning then heavy rains over took the area in the top of the 2nd inning. After a 5 hour delay the skies cleared and the sun shined down on Davis Diamond and game play resumed. The long delay seemed to get Florida off of its game while the delay seemed to pump up South Carolina as they quickly took the game lead via several long balls when play resumed with the Gamecocks taking a 3-0 lead in the game. It looked like it was over for the Gators stranding runner after runner on the bases. Finally Florida got their act together and ended up winning the game 6-5 thanks to a walk off double by Gator’s Jordan Matthews. I have to give a game ball to Tim Walton for his coaching in the game. I thought his pitching choice of using Hightower, Natalie Lugo and Katie Chronister in the game was questionable knowing it was a lose and your gone situation and not using ace Barnhill but he got the win and a rested Barnhill now so he knew what he was doing.
Post game opening statement from Florida head coach Tim Walton:
“First of all, great job to the grounds crew getting the field to be to playable. We talked to them early in the season when we were here, and they said it’s a great sand base and we needed it today. It was a pretty scary little moment for College Station, and hope everybody is okay. [The Tournament] is a good chance to see some good softball, it’s fun. I think the cool thing is players have moments, Sofia [Reynoso] had a couple nice moments today and [Hannah] Adams, and obviously Jordan Matthews is no stranger to big moments. We are really happy for that, happy our pitching staff was able to bandage the game together. To get in and out of trouble a little bit and use our defense when we needed to.”
The third game of the day brought a match of Tigers as it was the Mizzou Tigers verses the Auburn Tigers. Mizzou went with senior Madi Norman while Auburn sent sophomore Chardonnay Harris to the circle. Auburn got out to a 3-0 lead in the game by the 5th inning and Mizzou could never put together any offense to mount a comeback with Auburn’s Chardonnay Harris getting the complete game shutout win.
The long weather delay also played havoc on several other scheduled games as the Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State, and Arkansas vs. Georgia matches were rescheduled until Thursday. Also LSU’s game was pushed back to a later starting date and will now be played Thursday at 3 p.m against Florida.