Weekly was focused on Florida

Lady Vols open WCWS with Florida

UT women's softball coach Ralph Weekly stands near the pitcher's mound at Lee Softball Stadium before the start of the 2012 season.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

UT women's softball coach Ralph Weekly stands near the pitcher's mound at Lee Softball Stadium before the start of the 2012 season. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee co-head softball coach Ralph Weekly didn’t get any surprises for his team’s opening game of the Women’s College World Series.

In fact, Weekly already penciled Florida in for Thursday’s game after the Lady Vols advanced Saturday to the WCWS with a 5-3 victory over Alabama in an NCAA Super Regional at Lee Stadium to win the best-of-three series 2-0.

“Guess who we got now?” Weekly said in his post-game press conference. “Florida, first round.”

Weekly was a bit premature.

Florida hadn’t advanced yet.

But the Gators did move into the WCWS against the Lady Vols with a 1-0 victory over UAB (40-19) on Sunday in Gainesville, Fla., to win the series 2-0.

The WCWS starts Thursday in Oklahoma City with the Lady Vols (49-10), the No. 7 seed nationally, scheduled to play Florida (57-7), the No. 2 seed, at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. A win puts UT in a winners’ bracket game on Friday and a defeat in the losers’ bracket game the following day. No. 11 Washington (41-15) and No. 14 Nebraska (45-13) are matched in UT’s half of the bracket in the double-elimination tournament.

Weekly expects a tight game against the Gators.

“Actually, our last four games against Florida have gone eight innings,” Weekly said. “The final one last year and then these three (this regular season).”

UT lost two of three against the Gators on March 15-17 — all in eight

innings at Gainesville.

Florida won the opener 6-5; the Lady Vols won the second game, 3-1; Florida won the third, 5-3.

“What a great opponent, but we can’t get out of the SEC, so that’s who we’re going to be playing in Oklahoma City,” Weekly said.

Weekly was reminded of a post-game press conference May 11 after the Lady Vols lost to Missouri 3-0 in the SEC tournament.

“I remember sitting in the room with (reporters) up at the SEC, and one reporter said, ‘Well, you’re finally out of the SEC,’ after the SEC tournament,” Weekly said. “I said, “No, last year we had to play Georgia, and then we opened against Alabama in the World Series.”

Last year, UT beat Georgia in the NCAA Super Regional — winning 2-1 in Game 3 — before facing Alabama in the opener of the WCWS.

Alabama beat the Lady Vols, 5-3. Oregon State eliminated UT with a 3-1 victory in the double-elimination format.

Now, the Lady Vols are back again — and looking to prove their grit like they did Saturday by rallying from a 3-0 deficit against Alabama.

“A lot of people in general to me have questioned our toughness and guts, and I think today we showed that we have that and it’s always been there,” UT third baseman Raven Chavanne said. “It wasn’t pretty, but a win’s a win, and I will take it any way.”

Weekly doesn’t question his team’s toughness.

“I think again what (UT players) said was a lot of people said Tennessee is really talented, but sometimes they can’t win the big ones,” Weekly said. “We’ve won some big ones before, but you know, I don’t think our team is much different than others except we always had that little cloud hanging over us, and I think this was a huge victory, especially coming from behind against a great team.”

Dave Link is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 31

RockyTop1_old writes:

Gig the GATORS!!!!

tovolny writes:

Stay focused gang, I think you are better than the Gators. So, stay focused and take care of business.

mspiggy37 writes:

Why does Ralph wear the men's colors, black, as a third color? The Lady Vols accent color is light BLUE. Wear OUR colors, coach! Go Lady Vols and win the WCWS.

dvhill100 writes:

in response to mspiggy37:

Why does Ralph wear the men's colors, black, as a third color? The Lady Vols accent color is light BLUE. Wear OUR colors, coach! Go Lady Vols and win the WCWS.

The team is going to the NCAA series and you gripe about what the coach is wearing?

SummittsCourt writes:

This is the Lady Vols year!! In this tournament any team can win and no team is unbeatable so why not the Lady Vols!

Let's Go Lady Vols!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to dvhill100:

The team is going to the NCAA series and you gripe about what the coach is wearing?

I was thinking the same thing.

volsfaninsc writes:

in response to mspiggy37:

Why does Ralph wear the men's colors, black, as a third color? The Lady Vols accent color is light BLUE. Wear OUR colors, coach! Go Lady Vols and win the WCWS.

Kermit is calling to say you even complained about his shade of green...............Call Dave Hart and tell him...oh never mind...Go Lady Vols take down the chomperettes!!!

vol98champ writes:

in response to mspiggy37:

Why does Ralph wear the men's colors, black, as a third color? The Lady Vols accent color is light BLUE. Wear OUR colors, coach! Go Lady Vols and win the WCWS.

From what rock did you just crawl?
Please go back in the dark and mud.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to Hacaf1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude! Shut up! Do you not know the Lady Vols went to the WCWS three years in a row by slap hitting?

It's time you give it a rest!

WaltGoVoIs writes:

FIGHT TH ALL YOUR MIGHT FOR THE ORANGE AND WHITE!!!

Walt

UT '81

865fan writes:

To the guy who hates slap hitting:
Were you also opposed to the forward pass in football?
Games change and you change with them. Slap hitting was a great new tool for softball and the way to go for several years. Then more power hitters started impacting the games. The Weeklys have done a great job of balancing their teams. We are now getting fast power hitters like Shipman. The long ball is great but speed and singles (slap hitting) are still part of the game. I think Ralph and Karen have this under control.
It is time for you to give this a rest.

voloffaith writes:

Ladies and gentlemen! William the goat has resurfaced as haCAF1965 with the same old dribble and arrogance..."stay out of OUR way..." Read the sign,"don't feed the goat..ees" Go Lady Vols beat the chomperettes!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Summitts Court,

Remember, friend. This little troll kid is hung up on slap hitting and Dave Hart.

What he needs to do is this..........go back to Lindsay Schutzler, India Chiles, Sarah Fekete, Kelly Grieve, and most recently, Raven Chavanne. Then, let him gripe and whine to them about the success we had with their getting away from the plate in a flash and being on first with that strategy.

The kid sounds like that's all they do. There is power when they need it, and when the situation dictates it, Ralph and Karen ( I believe they are the coaches, not the kid ) then they do whatever is necessary.

The little griper can also go back to Monica Abbott and ask her what kind of offense we had to bring us within an eye lash of the title.

We need to consider this kid doesn't know a lot about any sport, but has a hangup on various aspects of the game/games to which he is the expert and the coaches no little about them.

He also should look around the teams who have been successful in the NCAA, and take note of what they utilize in their offensive philosophy......a mixture.

No he whines to us, but cannot do so to the above mentioned players and/or coaches.

volman2008 writes:

Tenn.goes as Shipman,and Tarango goes.

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Dude! Shut up! Do you not know the Lady Vols went to the WCWS three years in a row by slap hitting?

It's time you give it a rest!

But they didn't win the WCWS, did they?

Walt

UT '81

WaltGoVoIs writes:

"Go right at 'em!

That's the way to win.

Walt

UT '81

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to mspiggy37:

Why does Ralph wear the men's colors, black, as a third color? The Lady Vols accent color is light BLUE. Wear OUR colors, coach! Go Lady Vols and win the WCWS.

Maybe light blue doesn't bring out the color in his eyes.

Walt

UT '81

orangecountyvols writes:

Summitts Court and other legit Vols,

Remember this ....Walter is in the same grouping with the kid. He too, knows very little about softball. He too, needs to confront the Weeklys, the great speed players we had......
Schutzler, Chiles, Fekete, Grieve, and now Raven to ask them why they did/do what they did/do.

It would be curious to see how many games we would have won over the years if the Lady Vols strictly went up there hacking, looking to drive it out of the yard.

Well 'experts', Raven is batting almost 500. How many hits in that figure were from strictly power hitting? A few, ( 7 home runs ) but many were a result of her ( and those former great players ) great speed.

The 2 aforementioned experts on the game cannot deal with the coaches and the talent we have. They do not comprehend the name of the softball game is mixture, a misture of power and unilization of the speed the Lady Vols possess.

Let them display their ignorance, and we'll move forward with the Series.

865fan writes:

Thank you orange county vol for 2 excellent posts!

VolQB writes:

"Florida Ruks"

100 BC to Present

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to 865fan:

Thank you orange county vol for 2 excellent posts!

865

Thank you friend. Please overlook my mispelled wording !

Happy Memorial Day to you and all ...

voloffaith writes:

What a glorious memorial Day this has been!!! Lady Vols practice and as lil Libby said," I want to have fun my senior year." So ya'll help lil Libby and the other seniors have fun by bagging the chomperettes!!

uglydog5230#233820 writes:

in response to RockyTop1_old:

Gig the GATORS!!!!

You Gig frogs and capture Gators!! Unless you are an Aggie, you should not use that phrase!!

Go Vols!!

Brentwoodvol writes:

in response to Hacaf1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why would a coach use a bunt to get runner to 2nd base. Why not just slam away for fence and score 2, law of average??? You fail to realize that hitting is hardest part of softball. At this level all teams have good pitchers that make it that much harder. You have to mix it up or your not going very far. If you could just hit away we would see more 15 to 10 games. You won't see many if any of those in CWS!! The one thing all coaches will tell ya, you can't coach speed. Go Vols

AllforTenn writes:

in response to Hacaf1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go back to your "billythekid" moniker then Slap hit yourself on the head.

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to Hacaf1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It is difficult to converse with people when they can't tell when you agree with them.

Slap hitting never got us a title. Time to try something else. It's a no-brainer.

Walt

UT '81

iseeuall1#651204 writes:

raaalph will choke as always. This idiot needs to just sit down and let Karen run the team. They will do good then. I have never forgotten this fool playing for a "big inning", when 1 run would have won it all. GBO even in spite of this fool.

JSmith525 writes:

in response to Hacaf1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You need to quit slap'n your bat. Beside making you go blind it is causing dain bamage! You are much to young for all that....

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to 1-Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We could also look at your history to tell you know nothing about sports or anything else

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to 1-Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yeah, your or toddy's own reports, documentation or visual evidence lol

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to 1-Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

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