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Weekend Open Thread: Florida softball starts season

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The Gators open 2018 in Tampa.

There is plenty of Florida Gators action this weekend, with track and field athletes competing at two different meet events, gymnastics hosting another top-ten meet, softball beginning their 2018 season, and both basketball and tennis teams on the road.

Below you’ll find what is happening in Gator sports this weekend, as well as how to follow along.

Friday, February 9

Track and field
Tiger Paw Invitational and Iowa State Classic, All Day (Tiger Paw Stats; Iowa State Stats): The No. 1 Florida men’s team and No. 6 women’s team will compete in two meets this weekend. On Friday at Clemson’s Tiger Paw Invitational, the Gators will participate in hurdles, long jump, shot put, 60 meters, 400 meters, and mile events. In Ames, Gators will take part in 3,000 and 5,000 meter races.

Softball
Florida vs. Illinois State, 4:45 p.m. (Listen, Stats): The No. 2 Gators are back in action and will open their 2018 season at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Tampa. For the fifth consecutive season, Florida’s opening opponent will be Illinois State. The Gators have won their last eight against the Redbirds.

Men’s tennis
Florida vs. Michigan, 6:00 p.m. (Watch, Stats): The No. 11 Gators travel to Ann Arbor for their first true road trip of the season. Facing the No. 13 Wolverines, Florida finds itself in a second straight match against a ranked opponent.

Gymnastics
Florida vs. Alabama, 6:45 p.m. (SECN/WatchESPN, Stats): Top-ten action is on deck at the O’Dome on Friday night. The No. 5 Gators host the No. 9 Crimson Tide. Both Florida and Alabama have one loss this season, and both teams fell to No. 2 LSU on consecutive January weekends.

Women’s tennis
Florida vs. Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. (Watch, Stats): The Gators open play in the 2018 ITA National Indoor Team Championship on Friday night, facing the Badgers in the first round. Florida is coming off of a tough road loss to Oklahoma State, after having fallen at Florida State the weekend before. Undefeated Wisconsin, off to its best start in more than 30 years, will prove challenging for the Gators.

Saturday, February 10

Track and field
Tiger Paw Invitational and Iowa State Classic, All Day (Tiger Paw Stats; Iowa State Stats): Florida continues competition at this weekend’s meets. Gators at the Clemson-based Tiger Paw Invitational will compete in pole vault, high jump, triple jump, weight throw, 200 meters, 800 meters, and 4x400 relay races. At the Iowa State Classic, the men’s mile will be Florida’s Saturday event.

Women’s tennis
Time/opponent to be determined. National Team Indoor Championships (Watch, Stats): Florida is the No. 8 seed at this weekend’s 16-team event. The Gators have won the National Team Indoor Championships seven times, with their most recent win coming last year. Times and opponents for the championship tournament are to be determined after Friday’s first round matches. Check the linked website for more information.

Softball
Florida vs. Michigan, 11:00 a.m. (Listen, Stats): The Gators continue their season-opening tournament in Tampa. No. 2 Florida faces No. 11 Michigan on Saturday morning. The Gators are the favorite to win this year’s SEC title, after picking up their third consecutive regular season conference championship last season.

Men’s basketball
Florida vs. South Carolina, 12:00 p.m. (CBS/CBSSN, Listen, Stats): The Gators ended their SEC skid with a Wednesday home win over LSU. That win was much needed, particularly as Florida enters a rather rough stretch of conference play. The Gators stumbled in their home meeting with the Gamecocks earlier this year, and hope to return the favor and split the season series.

Softball
Florida vs. Georgia State, 1:15 p.m. (Listen, Stats): The Gators are back on the field for their second game of the day, in their first ever meeting with the Panthers. No. 2 Florida returns many faces from last year’s national championship runner-up team, including three 2017 All-Americans (Kelly Barnhill, Amanda Lorenz, Kayli Kvistad) and one 2016 All-American (Aleshia Ocasio).

Sunday, February 11

Women’s golf
Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge, All Day: The Gators travel to Palos Verdes, California, for the challenge, which will run through Tuesday. Florida finished fourth in the event last season, with Taylor Tomlinson winning a share of the individual title.

Women’s tennis
Time/opponent to be determined. National Team Indoor Championships (Watch, Stats): Times and opponents for the championship tournament are to be determined. Check the linked website for more information.

Lacrosse
Florida vs. Colorado, 12:00 p.m. (ESPN3/WatchESPN, Stats): The Gators open their season at home with the Buffs. The two teams have never played each other but do have a tragic link. Colorado senior Julia Sarcona, best friend of UF senior midfielder Allie Pavinello, died in a car accident last month. Both teams will honor Sarcona during this weekend’s contest.

Men’s tennis
Florida vs. Ohio State, 12:00 p.m. (Listen, Stats): The Gators continue their Big Ten road travels, taking on the No. 2 Buckeyes in Columbus. This will be the third straight ranked match-up for Florida, after Florida State last weekend and Michigan on Friday.

Women’s basketball
Florida vs. South Carolina, 1:00 p.m. (SECN/WatchESPN, Listen, Stats): In Columbia, the Gators will play their fifth game of a six-game stretch of ranked opponents. Florida faces the No. 7 Gamecocks, the reigning national champions, before heading to No. 14 Texas A&M on Thursday.

Softball
Florida vs. UAB, 1:30 p.m. (Listen, Stats): The No. 2 Gators begin their last day of the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament with the Blazers. Florida has a 3-0 all-time record against UAB.

Softball
Florida vs. South Florida, 4:45 p.m. (Listen, Stats): The Gators will conclude their opening weekend stint in Tampa with the hosting Bulls. Florida holds a 45-13 all-time advantage over USF, with the Gators having won the last 12 in the series.

And here are your schedule tables for this weekend’s events.

Schedule for Friday, February 9, 2018

Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
All Day Track and field Tiger Paw Invitational none none none @GatorsTF Track Scoreboard
All Day Track and field Iowa State Classic none none none @GatorsTF PT Timing
4:45 p.m. Softball vs. Illinois State none none WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
6:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Michigan none Sidearm Stats none @GatorsMTN Sidearm Stats
6:45 p.m. Gymnastics Alabama SEC Network WatchESPN none @GatorsGym Sidearm Stats
7:30 p.m. Women's tennis at Wisconsin none ITA Tennis none @GatorsWTN Tennis Ticker

Schedule for Saturday, February 10, 2018

Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
All Day Track and field Tiger Paw Invitational none none none @GatorsTF Track Scoreboard
All Day Track and field Iowa State Classic none Flo Track (Subscription) none @GatorsTF PT Timing
11:00 a.m. Softball vs. Michigan none none WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
12:00 p.m. Men's basketball at South Carolina CBS CBS Sports Florida Gators @GatorsMBK Stats Broadcast
1:15 p.m. Softball vs. Georgia State none none WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
TBA Women's tennis TBD (National Team Indoor Championships) none ITA Tennis none @GatorsWTN Tennis Ticker

Schedule for Sunday, February 11, 2018

Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
All Day Women's golf Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge none none none @GatorsGolf none
12:00 p.m. Lacrosse Colorado ESPN3 WatchESPN none @GatorsLAX Sidearm Stats
12:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Ohio State none Ohio State none @GatorsMTN Ohio State
1:00 p.m. Women's basketball at South Carolina SEC Network WatchESPN Florida Gators @GatorsWBK Stats Broadcast
1:30 p.m. Softball vs. UAB none none WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
4:15 p.m. Softball at South Florida none none WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
TBA Women's tennis TBD (National Team Indoor Championships) none ITA Tennis none @GatorsWTN Tennis Ticker