No. 1 Florida Gators softball on Sunday advanced to the Super Regional portion of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, earning a 1-0 eight-inning win over the Florida Atlantic Owls in the final game of the Gainesville Regional.
Senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger was tremendous for the Gators throughout the regional round at Pressly Softball Stadium. Haeger not only threw an eight-inning two-hitter on Sunday in the regional finale, she was also responsible for Florida’s game-winning run, smacking an RBI double with two outs in the top of the eighth.
Haeger tossed two complete-game shutouts, surrendering just five hits in 15 innings while striking out 13 and improving to 26-1 in the circle this season.
Freshman RHP Aleshia Ocasio (17-3) wiped the floor with the Florida A&M Rattlers in game one, matching a program record with 17 strikeouts while only giving up one hit and one walk as the Gators earned a clean 6-0 shutout.
Haeger’s game two dominance against the Hofstra Pride was complemented by two home runs. Junior third baseman Taylore Fuller (2/4, HR, 3 RBI, R) and senior designated player Bailey Castro (1/4, HR, RBI, R) each provided big knocks that put Florida ahead early and allowed it to maintain its advantage late in the 7-0 win.
The Gators (53-6) will host the Kentucky Wildcats in Super Regional play from May 21-24. Florida was 3-0 this season against Kentucky, sweeping the home series 1-0, 6-3 and 2-0 in mid-April.
UF, the defending national champions, will play in the Super Regional for the eighth time in nine seasons.