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The Russell Report: Early discussion on Gator Baseball and Softball

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:09 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - If you enjoy Gator sports, this past weekend was for you. Just about every Gator winter and spring sport was in action.

There was baseball, there was softball, and there was basketball, just to name a few.

Gator Baseball opened up the new Florida Ballpark and what a great place it is to watch a baseball game. And the Gators lost a series against arch rival Miami. But maybe that’s not a bad thing, especially early in the season when pitching roles in the bullpen are still being defined. I promise you, that will get better as the season progresses.

RELATED STORY: Gator Baseball falls to Hurricanes in opening weekend series finale

Softball coach Tim Walton picked up his 800th career win as Florida’s coach as his team continues to play well early in the season.

And it’s been a good start for the season for Gainesville native Katie Chronister in the circle. Chronister has patiently waited her turn to pitch and she’s gotten the chance this year as she returned for a fifth season. She’s been used in relief and she has performed well. It’s good to see an athlete stick it out, be patient, work hard and get rewarded and that’s exactly what has happened to her.

Men’s basketball got a win at home against Georgia but it sure wasn’t pretty at the end.

Teams are starting to see things on tape when they scout Florida, namely that the team does not handle defensive pressure very well. Twenty turnovers against the bulldogs turned what should have been a nice win into a nail biter at the end. Florida’s guards for the second straight game had more turnovers than assists. The Gators must take better care of the ball and handle pressure down the stretch to close out games that are hard to win in the SEC.

The “We’ll work through adversity Gator team” is the top ranked gymnastics team, which beat Kentucky without some of its better performers like Trinity Thomas and without head coach Jenny Rowland who were all out observing COVID protocols.

No worries. This deep and talented team went out and used its depth to perform well and win, and that kind of win builds unity and toughness, two things this group definitely has.

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