It was the classic pitcher’s duel between Florida and USF on Sunday afternoon, as Bulls ace Sara Nevins and Florida’s Hannah Rogers battled it out in brutal near-90 degree temperatures.
But the outcome ultimately came down to the team that made the fewest mistakes.
Nevins gave up just one hit, but two critical mistakes in the fourth sealed the Bulls’ (45-16) fate. The senior standout walked in a run, then allowed another to score when she hit batter Taylore Fuller, leading to Florida’s 2-0 win over the Bulls Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Gainesville Regional.
With the victory, Florida (55-7) advances to its sixth NCAA Super Regional. The Gators will host either UAB or UCLA this weekend.
While the Gators struggled at the plate, Rogers kept them in the game with her arm, going seven innings, giving up three hits with five strikeouts in 24 at bats. She said pitching against a player of Nevins’ caliber also improves her game. “It’s like a pitcher’s matchup, and you’re fighting for every pitch and every out throughout the whole game,” Rogers said.
Hear what UF coach Tim Walton had to say following today's game:
Florida sophomore Lauren Haeger's three-run homer in the bottom of the first gave Florida huge momentum, and the Gators went on to defeat USF 11-1 Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional.
It was the 20th come-from-behind win of the season for Florida.
The Gators (54-7) advanced to play Sunday at 1 p.m. and will face either USF, Georgia Southern or Hampton.
USF (44-15) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Haeger's home run gave the Gators a boost, then Florida had a five-run second inning to help secure the win.
USF star pitcher Sara Nevins left the game after 1.1 innings, and eventually gave up up six hits and seven runs. Florida pitcher Hannah Rogers had a slow start, but eventually went give innings with six strikeouts and giving up just one hit.
After the game, UF coach Tim Walton talked about the Gators' performance:
The Florida softball team rallied with a four-run third inning, then added two more in the fifth on home runs by Valrico alum Kelsey Horton and Taylore Fuller to earn a 7-1 win over Hampton (34-25) Friday night in the NCAA Gainesville Regional.
It was the 19th come-from-behind victory for the Gators (53-7) this season.
The Gators will play USF, a 1-0 winner over Georgia Southern, Saturday at 1 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on the UF campus.
"It was a good win for us," UF coach Tim Walton said. "When you've got a young team, you don't know what you're going to get, but I thought they played well tonight."
Florida sophomore pitcher Alyssa Bache made her first postseason start, and her first start since April 17 vs. Florida State.
"I was really excited to help my team in any way I could," said Bache who went seven innings and gave up just two hits.
Horton, one of two seniors on the Gators' team, was 2-for-4 with four RBI.
“I just made some adjustments in my first and second at-bats,” Horton said. “We did a really good job getting the momentum going.”
USF lost twice to the Gators this season, but Walton said he expects a challenge on Saturday. …
The Florida softball team begins NCAA Tournament play today vs. Hampton in the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional at the Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on the University of Florida campus.
The Gators and Hampton will play at 6 p.m. today, while USF will play Georgia Southern at 3:30 p.m.
Florida is the No. 2 national seed and is trying to return to the NCAA Super Regional after being eliminated by USF in Gainesville last season. Prior to that, the Gators had been to four consecutive Women's College World Series.
"I think we're in a good position," UF coach Tim Walton said. "We've prepared really well this week. We're excited and fired up to get back home again. We're not putting any more pressure on them than they already put on themesvles. We're concentrating on just going out and playing, doing what we've done all season." …
The Florida men’s golf team played one of its best rounds of the season on Thursday, setting itself up into first place after the first day at the NCAA South Regional in Baton Rouge.
The Gators shot a 286 (-2) as a team. Florida was the only team in the field to record a score under par on the first day of competition and holds a 10-stroke advantage over second place Alabama.
“We have been waiting for a day like today,” UF coach Buddy Alexander said. “Today was solid from the get-go.”
The top of the individual leaderboard was held by Florida golfers: seniors Tyler McCumber and T.J. Vogel share the top spot after Thursday’s round. Both shot an opening round 70 (-2). In total, three Gators are in the top-10 after the first day.
“It was a solid start,” Alexander said. “Hopefully, we can continue it because it has been a long time coming.”
Play will resume Friday morning with the second round of the NCAA South Regional. Live scoring will available on Golfstat.com
Former Florida All-American soccer player Abby Wambach is the subject of the latest installment of the ESPN series "SEC Storied".
The documentary will chronicle Wambach’s soccer career from her days as the nation's top high school player, to helping lead the Gators to the 1998 NCAA national title, to her U.S. women’s national team career.
Wambach was a two-time first team All-America selection and was a four-time member of the All-SEC first team. She was the SEC Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001. Wambach is the Gators' career leader in goals (96), assists (50) and points (242) and stands seventh on the NCAA Career charts in goals and points.
Five Florida Lacrosse players earned Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-American honors, announced by the organization today.
Florida’s five honorees is the most for any school on the list and ties with Maryland for most first team honorees.
It is the second consecutive season the Gators have garnered five All-Americans on the first and second teams. Senior attack Kitty Cullen earned first team honors, becoming the Gators' first three-time All-American. Seniors Brittany Dashiell and Mikey Meagher also repeat as first team selections.
Senior defender Sam Farrell and sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy were second team selections.
Cullen leads the Gators with a team-high 61 points on 48 goals and 18 assists. Dashiell and Gilroy are integral parts of Florida’s offense that scores 15.05 goals per game. Both have recorded 50 goals this season. The duo also combines for the team-highs in draw controls with Gilroy leading the way with 59 and Dashiell following closely with 54. …
Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins smiles alongside his mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, right, as he announces his commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony earlier today.
The SEC and Big 12 have agreed to an annual, inter-conference basketball event, beginning this season, and Florida basketball fans will get a bonus out of the deal.
The Gators will host Kansas on Dec. 10 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The Jayhawks just locked up the No. 2 recruting class in the nation today with the signing of star Andrew Wiggins. Kentucky, which Florida will face twice in the regular season, has the No. 1 class.
All 10 of the Big 12’s teams and 10 of the SEC’s 14 member schools will participate in the annual SEC/Big12 Challenge. Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee will not play in the first year. ESPN will provide exclusive coverage of all 10 games across it networks.
Eight of the 10 games in the 2013 event will be played at home sites (each conference has four home games) and two matchups will be at neutral sites.
The inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge is a combination of existing games already scheduled along with new matchups created for this event during November and December. The two conferences and ESPN will attempt to schedule matchups over consecutive days in future events. …
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DeVon Walker (25) walks off the court after the Gators' loss to Michigan in the NCAA Tournament.
Florida G/F DeVon Walker, who was granted his release to transfer last week, has decided to return to school.
Walker, a sophomore who played sparingly as a freshman last season, is enrolled in summer classes.
“Florida is such a great place, and the more I thought about it, I just realized this is where I want to be,” Walker said. “The coaching staff has helped me get better on and off the court over the past year and I really enjoy being around my teammates, so I’m excited to refocus on my future here in Gainesville.”
Walker played in 25 games during his freshman year, scoring 20 points, with 17 rebounds and blocked four shots.
“We always encourage guys to do what they feel is best for their future, and we’re glad that DeVon will be continuing with us here at Florida,” coach Billy Donovan said.
Chris Leak, the former Florida quarterback who helped lead the Gators to the 2006 BCS National Championship, has joined Will Muschamp's staff as Florida's new Director of Quality Control.
Muschamp said Monday that Leak, 28, is hoping to eventually get into the coaching profession. His new position will not allow him to have any coaching duties on the practice field, but his primary job will be breaking down opponents' film and other office duties.
Leak had 11,213 career passing yards from 2003-2006 with the Gators. He was the Most Valuable Offensive Player in the BCS title game win over Ohio State.
The two-time defending NCAA women's tennis champion Gators will begin NCAA Tournament play on Saturday, hosing Marist in the first round of the NCAA Championships at the Ring Tennis Complex at 1 p.m.
The Gators (22-2) won the SEC Tournament and earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championships, as well as the No. 1 overall seed in the 64-team event.
“We love playing at home. Obviously, our record shows that,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “It looks like the temperature should be hot and we like it when you have to work points and that tends to work in our favor. We generally have a good crowd and I’m hoping that we can have a large group of fans for the entire weekend.”
Florida is 12-0 at home this season and has extended its overall program-record home winning streak of 119, which includes 19 wins in postseason play (SEC and NCAA Tournament). The last time the Gators loar at home was on May 15, 2004, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Miami, 4-3. That also was the last time Florida was the No. 1 seed. …
Florida announced to day it has received official notification from Eli Carter of his intent to transfer to UF and join the men’s basketball team.
“Eli is a great addition to our team, and we’re pleased he’s a Gator now,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Carter, 6-foot-2, 195-pounda, played two years at Rutgers where he averaged 14.3 points in 56 games, including 46 starts. He was the Scarlet Knights’ top scorer in each of the past two seasons with 14.9 points per game as a sophomore in 2012-13 and 13.8 during his freshman season in 2011-12.
He is a career .398 shooter, including .338 from 3-point range, and averages 3.0 rebounds per game.
“I’m excited to get down to Florida, and I can’t wait to start gelling with the team and the coaches,” Carter said.
Florida Gators fans, welcome to the Gator Report for all your news about Gators football, basketball and all UF sports. It's written by University of Florida beat writer Antonya English and the staff of the Tampa Bay Times. We invite your comments and participation.