4 BITS: Gators up for 2015 ESPY awards, Florida basketball players summer updates

1 » After showing out during 2015 NBA Summer League action in Orlando with the Orlando Magic, former Florida Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin earned a second opportunity in Las Vegas with the Philadelphia 76ers. That kicked off for Wilbekin on Saturday as he scored nine points on 3-for-8 shooting in 21:02. He earned the start for the 76ers the following day and once again impressed, scoring 19 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep with two assists and three steals in 29:38, the second-most minutes on the team. Wilbekin last week signed a one-year deal with the Cairns Taipans of Australia’s NBL after leading the team as its Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. There is an out in that contract allowing Wilbekin to pursue his NBA dream if the opportunity presents itself, and he may very well be making strides in achieving that goal as soon as this season.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: Gators up for 2015 ESPY awards, Florida basketball players summer updates

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Florida Gators pitcher Lauren Haeger named 2015 SEC Female Athlete of the Year

Florida Gators senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger capped her stellar collegiate career with the top honor awarded by the Southeastern Conference after being named the league’s 2015 Female Athlete of the Year on Thursday.

Haeger becomes the eighth Florida student-athlete to earn the honor, which has been given to Gators 11 total times with Hannah Rogers (2014), Tim Tebow (2008-09), Danny Wuerffel (1996-97) and Nicole Haislett (1993-94) each doubling up. Ryan Lochte (2005), Dara Torres (1988) and Tracy Caulkins (1984) also receiving the award.

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FOUR BITS: Florida Gators RHP Lauren Haeger wins Honda Sports Award for softball

1 » Already the 2015 USA Softball Player of the Year (first in program history), Most Outstanding Player from the 2015 Women’s College World Series and the 2015 SEC Pitcher of the Year, Florida Gators right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger added to her trophy case on Wednesday by being named the 2015 Honda Sport Award winner for softball. The honor makes Haeger a finalist for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2015 Honda Cup. She is the second Florida softball player to win the award (Kelsey Bruder, 2011), 18th overall Gators athlete since 1978 and second this year (Kytra Hunter, gymnastics).

Haeger, the second player (Babe Ruth) with 70+ home runs and 70+ wins on either the college (baseball, softball) or professional (MLB) level, smacked 71 homers and won 73 games over her four-year career at Florida. She finished the 2015 campaign with a 32-2 record and 1.23 ERA with 25 complete games in 35 starts and 214 strikeouts in 222.1 innings pitched.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Florida Gators RHP Lauren Haeger wins Honda Sports Award for softball

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Florida Gators react on Twitter to softball winning back-to-back national championships

No. 1 Florida Gators softball went back-to-back, winning its second straight NCAA National Championship on Wednesday by taking down the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 4-1 in Game 3 of the 2015 Women’s College World Series.

With Florida now having defended its 2014 national title and becoming just the third program in softball history to win consecutive championships, former and current Gators were quick to take to Twitter and share their excitement.

Before we get to that (after the break), you can watch Florida’s national championship celebration, set for Thursday at 5 p.m., right here:

OnlyGators.com has gathered all of the social media reaction and rolled it all together.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators react on Twitter to softball winning back-to-back national championships

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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.

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

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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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Florida Gators softball escapes Michigan 3-2, wins game one of WCWS Championship Series

No. 1 Florida Gators softball had to sweat until the final out but eventually came through with a 3-2 victory over the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines on Monday night in the first game of the 2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Series in Oklahoma City.

The win was the Gators’ 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament victory, tying a national record. It also snapped a 28-game win streak held by the Wolverines.

With senior Lauren Haeger off the mound and on the bench resting, Florida freshman right-handed pitcher Aleshia Ocasio held Michigan scoreless for the first five innings of the game. Ocasio (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) faltered in the sixth, giving up two runs, but had plenty of run support from Haeger (2/3, HR, 3 RBI, R), who was responsible for all of the Gators’ runs on Monday.

“I was a little nervous, but this is what I came here for. I was ready,” Ocasio told ESPN after the contest.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators softball escapes Michigan 3-2, wins game one of 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.

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

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