BACK-2-BACK CHAMPS: Florida Gators softball wins 2015 WCWS, second straight national title

No. 1 Florida Gators softball became just the third program in the history of the sport to win back-to-back national championships, defeating the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 4-1 on Wednesday in Game 3 of the 2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Series in Oklahoma City.

Senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger (7.0 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K), the 2015 USA Softball Player of the Year, went the distance for Florida and also continued her dominance at the plate by going 1/1 with an RBI single and two intentional walks. With Wednesday’s performance a compliment to her tremendous effort throughout the event, she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

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Defensive lapses, ice cold bats doom Florida in 1-0 loss to Michigan in WCWS Championship Series

Early defensive lapses and an inability to make any serious contact at the plate doomed No. 1 Florida Gators softball (59-7) on Tuesday as the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (60-7) scooted by with a 1-0 win to extend the 2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Series in Oklahoma City.

The best-of-three series will move to a game three on Wednesday as Florida, which was shutout for the first time this season, looks to win back-to-back national titles and become the first team in WCWS history to win the crown after losing game two of the championship series.

Wolverines right-handed pitcher Haylie Wagner stymied the Gators all night, striking out five and not allowing a single walk despite giving up six scattered hits. She has now thrown 20 shutout innings at the WCWS, a necessity in order to edge Florida senior RHP Lauren Haeger (6.0 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, K), who had a solid outing in her own right.

Continue Reading » Defensive lapses, ice cold bats doom Florida in 1-0 loss to Michigan in WCWS Championship Series

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

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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Florida Gators softball defeats Auburn in extra innings, advances to WCWS Championship Series

For the fourth time in the last seven seasons, No. 1 Florida Gators softball advanced to the Women’s College World Series Championship Series, earning a 3-2 extra-innings victory over the No. 4 Auburn Tigers on Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

Despite starting the day 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, the Gators got a hit when it mattered the most with freshman left fielder Nicole DeWitt (1/4, RBI) smacking an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to score the game-winning run from second.

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No. 1 Florida Gators softball fights to 4-0 win over No. 5 LSU Tigers in second WCWS game

No. 1 Florida Gators softball took care of business against the only team to hand it two losses this season, taking down the No. 5 LSU Tigers 4-0 in the second game of the 2015 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City on Friday evening.

Florida (57-6) scored all of its runs off home runs and errors, going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position while receiving a tremendous effort on the mound by senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger (7.0 IP, 5 H, 4 K) that allowed it to edge LSU (51-13).

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No. 1 Florida Gators softball blows past No. 8 Tennessee 7-2 in WCWS opener

No. 1 Florida Gators softball kicked off its 2014 title defense with gusto, routing the No. 8 Tennessee Lady Vols 7-2 in the opening game of the 2015 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Florida (56-6) scored in four of six frames with senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger (7.0 IP, H, 2 ER, 4 K) only faltering for a brief moment in the middle a one-hit, shutout performance on Thursday.

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Lauren Haeger leads Florida Gators softball to 7-0 rout of Kentucky in Super Regional opener

Perfect through 5.1 innings, Florida Gators senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger mowed down the Kentucky Wildcats and led her team to a 7-0 victory on Saturday afternoon in the first game of Super Regional action at Pressly Softball Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Haeger (7.0 IP, 2 H, 6 K) retired the first 16 batters she faced before giving up a hit in the top half of the sixth inning. She responded with a solo home run to open the bottom frame, which was quickly complemented by a two-run shot from junior center fielder Kirsti Merritt (2/2, HR, 2 RBI, BB) that pushed the No. 1 Gators ahead 7-0.

Continue Reading » Lauren Haeger leads Florida Gators softball to 7-0 rout of Kentucky in Super Regional opener

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History is made: Florida Gators softball wins program’s first National Championship

Senior right-handed pitcher Hannah Rogers did not start Tuesday night’s game for the Florida Gators, but her steady hand and tremendous command closed out the final two innings of the Women’s College World Series Championship Series, helping Florida softball (55-12) earn the first National Championship in program history on the back of a 6-3 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide (53-13).

The Gators swept the Crimson Tide in the best-of-three series with Rogers earning a 5-0 shutout win on Monday and finding her well-deserved place on the mound in the final exciting moments on Tuesday.

It was the first time in three WCWS Championship Series appearances that Florida won a single game (0-4 combined in 2009, 2011) yet the Gators were dominant at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Florida outscored its opponents 81-10 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament with eight shutouts and six run-rule victories.

Rogers went 7-0 with a save in eight total appearances, giving up just four earned runs in 44 innings pitched while shutting out her adversaries in 42 of those frames. She was named 2014 WCWS Most Outstanding Player after the game.

Nevertheless, it was junior RHP Lauren Haeger received the call and subsequently got off to a rough start in the circle for UF, giving up back-to-back singles to open the game before a sacrifice fly advanced both base runners.

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