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Florida Gators softball has earned the No. 1 overall seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament as the two-time defending champions look to become the first team since UCLA (1988-90) to win three straight national titles in the Women’s College World Series era.
Though Florida was eliminated early from the 2016 SEC Tournament, the loss was a rare one for the 53-5 Gators, which have not dropped consecutive games all season and have only been defeated twice by a single team, Alabama.
Leading the charge for UF are a pair of tremendous pitchers in sophomore right-hander Aleshia Ocasio (20-1, 0.70 ERA, 130 K) and junior lefty Delanie Gourley (18-3, 0.76 ERA, 202 K), plus sophomore dynamo Kayli Kvistad, who leads the team in batting (.405), slugging (.702), home runs (11) and RBI (60).
As the top seed, Florida will host Alabama State, Florida Atlantic and UCF in the 2016 Gainesville Regional. UF will open against ASU on Friday at 2:30 p.m. with games continuing into Saturday and Sunday. Should the Gators come out of their regional, they will host Super Regional action against the winner of the Athens Regional, featuring No. 16 Georgia, Maine, Northwestern and Oklahoma State
Florida went 8-0 in 2015 on its way to the finals of the WCWS when it beat No. 3 Michigan in three games. The prior year, the Gators went 10-1, dropping a game in the Super Regionals but sweeping the WCWS by outscoring opponents 32-6 in five games.