The Gators softball team accomlished its lofty goal this past weekend, by sweeping Tennessee in a three game series to leapfrog the Volunteers and finish the regular season as Eastern Division Champions. Alabama won the overall SEC regular season title with a 19-6 conference mark, edging the Gators (21-7) by percentage points for the title. Alabama's series with Kentucky a week ago was cancelled due to the tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa, resulting in a lower number of total conference games for the Tide.
After a walk-off homer resulted in a 4-3 Gators win in Friday's game, the Gators took another close one Saturday afternoon 2-0 when Senior outfielder Kelsey Bruder belted a two-run bomb in the first inning, and the Gators strong pitching shutout the Volunteer hitters. Sunday's game became the unofficial SEC Eastern Division Championship Game as the two teams entered the game with identical records tied for first. The Gators left no doubt on Sunday, downing the Vols 7-2 to win its 4th straight Eastern Division title. Freshman pitcher Hannah Rogers earned the win Sunday to run her record to 30-5 on the season. Sunday was win No. 229 for the Gators' senior class, the winningest class in the history of the program. The Gators now turn their attention to the SEC Tournament, starting Thursday in Oxford, Mississippi. The 2nd seeded Gators will face the 7th seeded Auburn Tigers in the opening round at 1:30pm Thursday on ESPNU.
Meanwhile, the Gators Lacrosse team salved its loss to Northwestern in the ALC Tournament Championship Game, by earning the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Florida will host Stanford in the opening round of the 16 team single elimination tournament, the first ever championship tournament appearance for the Gators. The winner will advance to the quarterfinal round to face the winner of the Duke(5) vs. Penn(12) match. Should the Gators beat Stanford, they would also host the second round game. The semifinals and championship game will be held at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY May 27-29.