NC State begins 2017 facing SEC foe SC in the Belk College Kickoff Game from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a game televised by ESPN with a 3 p.m. kickoff.
And that's the good news for Florida.
Two of them, No. 1 Florida and No. 14 Alabama (45-16), square off at 7 p.m., Thursday in Gainesville. In previous years, the super regional finale would have taken place as the second game of a doubleheader, just 30 minutes after the previous game ended.
Miami at Florida State, ABC, 8 p.m. "We wouldn't be where we are without her and we're going to need her to win this Super Regional". A different fate befell Alabama as the No. 1 seed in 2010, eliminated in the super regional finale on a walk-off home run by Hawaii.
"We were gonna beat that team that was in the other dugout", Gourley, who now has a 20-4 record and 0.71 ERA, told reporters after Florida's regional-clinching win on Sunday.
Though from the same conference, the Gators and Crimson Tide did not play each other this season. A slow-roller down the third-base line with two out in the top of the third was Florida's first hit of the game and Amanda Lorenz put the Gators in the run column in the next at-bat with a two-run home run to take a 2-0 lead. Delanie Gourley (21-4) got the win with the four-hit shutout. Both the Gators and Tide used two pitchers in the regionals-Gourley and sophomore Kelly Barnhill for Florida and junior Alexis Osorio and senior Sydney Littlejohn for Alabama-with each pair allowing just one run between them last weekend. If perhaps only for a night.
Ohio State hosts Oklahoma a week later on Saturday, Sept. 9 and that game will be at 7:30 p.m. on ABC. Then again, if you have a senior with two national championships who has yet to lose an NCAA tournament elimination game in which she pitched, Florida coach Tim Walton might be tempted to give the ball right back to Gourley and keep Barnhill as his one-day-only Mariano Rivera.