Saturday was an amazing day in Gainesville.
The sun was shining, and there was a packed house at “the Hole” (Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium) for #3/4 Alabama vs. #8/9 Florida. Bama had just put a hurtin’ on Florida the night before with a 5-0 shutout win orchestrated by All-American Kelsi Dunne.
Florida was being relatively handled by Bama’s #2 pitcher for 5 innings before they brought in Dunne to close it out. When things seemed darkest for Florida, down 2 runs in the bottom of the final inning, they managed to get a couple of runners on with a walk and a single. With fans on their feet for almost the entire inning, Kelsey Bruder stepped to the plate with two on and two outs and drilled the first pitch she saw from Dunne over the Right-Center field fence for a 3-run walk off home run. The place went wild…
And that was just the appetizer for the Swing for a Cure event.
Gator Great Francesca Enea has a huge hand in organizing this event and this year it was put on in the name of Ian Lockwood who’s story is well documented, but you can find further details and information from a previous post we did and from this post by Safid Deen on GatorCountry.com
This year’s participants were current Gator football player Trey Burton, former Gator QB Shane Matthews, former Gator safety Ahmad Black, former Gator wide receiver Chris Doering, current Gator basketball player Erving Walker, and ESPN analyst and pro softball player Jessica Mendoza. Former Washington Huskie pitcher Danielle Lawrie was the pitcher (she got quite the luke warm reception). The event was to raise awareness and Shands staff were on site to take pledges to go towards cancer research.
I post this for two reasons… one, it is a great cause and Franny is an absolutely wonderful human being to put this all together and get the buy in from former Gators to participate, especially in honor of the Lockwood family, who had become a huge part of the Gator family. Two, because in a couple weeks, we’ll be doing some posting about our non-revenue generating sports that are Top 8 programs in the country (Softball, Lacrosse, Baseball) and many of you reading it will think, “Why are they writing about womens’ sports?”. A valid question, because not many people do it, and not many read it, because not many respect it. Just remember, there were 6 world class athletes ranging from 37 to 19 years old trying to hit Lawrie and exactly one ball was hit into fair territory (a single to right by Matthews). It ain’t easy and you have to see it live to really understand.
That being said… I offer you this video of Erving Walker hitting against Danielle Lawrie as proof. It ain’t easy….
Thanks all and Go Gators! Wish ’em luck on their finals this week!