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Florida Gators reach softball Super Region, but Florida State Seminoles falter; USF Bulls prepare for Big East annual meetings

Florida reached the 16-team Super Region round of the NCAA Softball Championship after surviving an elimination game.

The Gators defeated UCLA 11-3 after losing to the Bruins in Sunday's first game of the double-elimination Gainesville Region. UF was the lone state team to make the 16-team second stage.

Florida State was eliminated with a 10-2 loss to host Georgia in the Athens Region. The Seminoles (32-28) committed a season-high five errors in their first NCAA region final since 2006.

UCLA scored twice in the bottom of the seventh — former Countryside High star GiOnna DiSalvatore singled and scored to start the rally — to win 3-2 and force the final game. In the final game, Gator shortstop Cheyenne Coyle went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer.

Florida (50-10), the No. 4 national seed, faces No. 13 Oregon (42-14) in a best-of-three Super Region this week (the schedule is to be announced). The winners of the eight Super Region matchups advance to the College World Series, June 2-8, in Oklahoma City.

Big East meetings

The Big East's athletic directors and football and basketball coaches are in Ponte Vedra Beach for the next two days, and the topic of football expansion is sure to be central in the conference's annual meetings.

"We're going to learn an awful lot … when we go to the conference meetings," USF football coach Skip Holtz told WGHB-AM 1250 in North Carolina. "We'll sit down for three days and that will be a big part of discussions."

The Big East added TCU to its football lineup for 2012, and is pondering a 10th team. Villanova, a member in other sports but currently a Division I-AA football program, is one option, as is a Conference USA team such as Central Florida or Houston. Holtz questioned the benefits of having 10 as opposed to a more ambitious move to 12 teams.

"There's been a lot of talk about do you go from nine to 10, which I don't know how much sense that really makes, when the Big Ten left the model of 10, the Pac-10 has left the model of 10," Holtz told the radio station.

BASEBALL: FSU (40-15, 19-11 ACC), the No. 2 seed, plays its first game in the conference tournament in Durham, N.C., at 7 p.m. Wednesday against No. 7 seed N.C. State in pool play. No. 5 Miami opens at 11 a.m. Thursday against No. 4 North Carolina. FSU plays Clemson at 7 Thursday and Georgia Tech at 7 Friday. The winners of the four-team pools meet May 29 for the title. … UF is the No. 3 seed in the SEC tournament, playing Mississippi State on Wednesday in Hoover, Ala. … Host Bethune-Cookman defeated Norfolk State 9-3 to win a sixth straight MEAC tourney.

women's TENNIS: Florida, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 7 Miami 4-1 to reach the semifinals of the NCAA Championship at Stanford. Calif. Allie Will, Lauren Embree and Alex Cercone each won singles matches and were part of winning doubles teams for UF (29-1), which faces No. 6 seed UCLA tonight at 7.

WOMEN'S GOLF: UF tied for 10th at the NCAA Championship in Bryan, Texas, with a four-round score of 44-over 1,196. Andrea Watts (293) was the top individual for the Gators, tying for 15th. UCLA (1,173) won the title by four strokes over Purdue. LSU's Austin Ernst won the individual title.

BASKETBALL: St. John's forward Dwayne Polee II said he plans to transfer to help his family "get through a health issue."

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Florida Gators reach softball Super Region, but Florida State Seminoles falter; USF Bulls prepare for Big East annual meetings 05/22/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 22, 2011 11:59pm]
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