Top 10 plays: Florida Gators softball and baseball flash in 2015 NCAA Tournament

By Adam Silverstein
June 1, 2015

The weekend was a good one for the Florida Gators softball and baseball teams, which each advanced a round in their respective 2015 NCAA Tournament.

No. 1 softball moved on to the 2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Series where it will face No. 5 Michigan – beginning Monday evening – in an effort to defend its 2014 national title. The Gators got there by routing Tennessee 7-2 on Thursday, shutting out LSU 4-0 on Friday and edging Auburn 3-2 in nine innings on Sunday.

No. 4 baseball’s weekend was less dramatic. On the way to winning the Gainesville Regional, Florida routed Florida A&M 19-0 on Friday, pushed passed South Florida 8-2 on Saturday and squeaked out a 2-1 win against Florida Atlantic on Sunday. UF will host Super Regional action this week against the winner of the Tallahassee Regional.

Normally, a highlight or two would come from such an high-pressure weekend. As it turns out, there were more than enough over the last few days to fill a top 10 list. With that in mind, let’s check out the top Gators plays of the weekend.

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10. Senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger was a monster on the mound all weekend. But while she was dominating as a hurler, she also powered a ball out of the park at the plate. The homer was Florida’s go-ahead run in Haeger’s 4-0 shutout of LSU and the 70th of the slugger’s career.

9. Senior shortstop Katie Medina was aggravated by runners being on base, so she decided to get the Gators out of the inning on her own.

8. Just minutes after Florida softball was handed its first deficit of the entire NCAA Tournament, junior third baseman Taylore Fuller rocketed a line drive out of the park to tie the game 2-2. (No video of the play, so we look at the celebration.)

7. We will come back to this pairing later, but junior center fielder Kirsti Merritt and junior catcher Aubree Munro did this twice on Sunday, this somehow being the least impressive of the two defensive plays.

6. Just before lightning forced a delay in Sunday’s Gainesville Regional final, junior SS Richie Martin ended the eighth inning with this 360-degree 6-4 effort.

5. Trying to match his teammate (see No. 3 below), junior left fielder Harrison Bader laid out for this terrific catch.

4. Medina turned an RBI into an inning-ending out on Sunday, one of many impressive plays she made over the weekend (see No. 9).

3. Sophomore center fielder Buddy Reed made this insane diving catch in the opening game of the Gainesville Regional to rob FAMU of an extra-base hit.

2. Haeger and the Gators were in trouble early on Sunday … until Merritt and Munro hooked up on an 8-2 put-out to clear a bases loaded jam and end the inning with a play at the plate.

1. With Florida 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position Sunday, freshman LF Nicole DeWitt came through with a huge walk-off RBI to send the Gators to the WCWS Championship Series.

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