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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Auburn/Florida Softball Rivalry





As expected, the Auburn/Florida Softball series this past weekend and Monday night was hard fought and it was evident that the rivalry against the Florida Gators is alive and well. Here are the highlights from Monday's game.

Saturday

Auburn lost game one on Saturday 4-3. This game may have 
been won by Auburn if not for a obvious bad call at home plate early in the game. The home plate umpire called the 
Florida player out. Tim Walton, the Florida head coach, came out to protest that Carlee Wallace bobbled the ball prior to the tag and the call was reversed by an umpire in the field. The replay showed that the ball was clearly not bobbled and the Florida player was out. It was a great play by Carlee Wallace at the plate. I must say that I  have seldom seen an umpire in the field over rule a "tag" at the plate. Perhaps it is time for replay in Softball on plays that might decide the game. Of course, Auburn did have 3 key errors in the 7th inning and the game would have most likely gone into extra innings had it not been for the bad call. Kaylee Carlson pitched a solid game, but Auburn was not able to overcome the umpires or the errors. 

Sunday

Auburn lost the second game 7-0 and only had two hits. Kelly Barnhill, the Florida pitcher, recorded 16 strike outs in this game which was a season high for Auburn. By the way, Kasey Cooper and Kelly Barnhill play on the USA Softball National 
Team together. I feel that both players are destined to play on the USA Olympic Softball team in 2020.

Monday

Auburn won this game 1-0 and Kaylee Carlson pitched well allowing only 3 hits. Her changeup was really working and the Florida players had difficulty timing their swings. Kaylee may have one of the best changeups that I have seen this season in College Softball. Kendall Veach hit what turned out to be the game winning home run in the second inning. Kendall is destined to be an all SEC Softball player. 

Of course, this game was not without controversy and the rivalry between Auburn and Florida just went up another notch. Tim Walton and Haley Fagan had an altercation during the "high five" session at the end of the game. I would suggest that you watch the video and draw your own conclusion. I always felt that it would only be a matter of time before words would be exchanged between Haley Fagan and Tim Walton. As you may know, Tim Walton did dismiss Haley's two sisters, Sami and Kasey, from the Gator Softball team in 2012 due to what Kevin Fagan (their dad) called "an altercation on the team". Kevin Fagan is now the Softball coach at the College of Central Florida. Also, I do remember that he played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1986 to 1993 during the Joe Montana days. It does seem that the dismissal of Haley's two sisters was controversial and the altercation on the field last night was personal. Tim Walton did apologize to Haley today in a statement. I can only say that this series was hard fought and emotions were running high at the end.  The next meeting with the Florida Gators will be interesting to watch.

Auburn will now face Georgia this weekend. The first game will be at 6:00 P.M. CDT on Saturday.

A Day is coming!
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