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Weekend Open Thread: Gator softball begins SEC play

No. 2 Florida hosts No. 23 Kentucky for a three-game series.

This weekend, several Florida Gators are at home, while some others hit the road for championship events. Florida men’s basketball is in St. Louis for the SEC Tournament and the track and field teams are in Texas for the NCAA Championships. Baseball and softball both are hosting home series and gymnastics is holding their home finale.

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

Friday, March 9

Men’s tennis
Florida vs. Mississippi State, 4:00 p.m.: The Gators travel for two SEC road contests this weekend, with the Bulldogs being first on deck. Florida enters this match on a two-game winning streak, starting 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2011.

Women’s tennis
Florida vs. LSU, 5:00 p.m.: Hosting their first home match since January, the Gators welcome the Tigers to Gainesville. Florida has won its last nine against LSU, last losing to the Tigers in 2009.

Softball
Florida vs. Kentucky, 6:00 p.m.: The No. 2 Gators host their SEC opener this weekend when the No. 23 Wildcats come to town. Last week, Florida went 3-0 in the Judi Garman Classic on the west coast and Kelly Barnhill was named SEC Pitcher of the Week after extending her scoreless inning streak to 22.1 innings.

Baseball
Florida vs. Rhode Island, 6:30 p.m.: After two mid-week losses to Central Florida, the Gators look to rebound at home against the visiting Rams. Florida is 12-3 overall on the season, winning at least 12 through their first 15 games for the eighth time in 11 years under Kevin O’Sullivan.

Track and field
NCAA Indoor Championships, 6:30 p.m.: The No. 3 men’s team and No. 6’s women’s team will be in College Station this weekend for the NCAA Championships. Florida’s men’s team were the national runner-up last year, finishing behind the champion by only half of a point. The Gator men have finished third or higher at 17 of the last 18 NCAA Championships, including eight of the last nine indoors.

Gymnastics
Florida vs. Nebraska, 6:45 p.m.: The No. 5 Gators host their final meet at the O’Connell Center. Florida will honor its 2018 senior class - a group which was a part of the Gators’ 2015 NCAA Championship team, claimed a 2016 SEC title, and has a 48-13 regular season record since 2015.

Men’s basketball
Florida vs. Arkansas (SEC Tournament Quarterfinals), 9:30 p.m.: The Gators, beneficiaries of a tournament double-bye, begin their SEC Tournament run in the quarterfinals. Florida will face Arkansas, who move on in competition after a 69-64 win over South Carolina last night. These two teams met earlier this season in a 88-73 Gainesville win.

Saturday, March 10

Women’s golf
SunTrust Gator Invitational, All Day: Florida begins hosting the 46th annual SunTrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville - an event which the Gators have won the last two seasons. Florida last won the event by eight strokes finishing with a tournament record 847 (+7).

Baseball
Florida vs. Rhode Island, 1:00 p.m.: This game marks the first of a Saturday double-header for the Gators. Originally not scheduled as such, Florida is doubling up on Saturday due to a forecast of rain on Sunday. Coming into the weekend, the Gators lead the series with Rhode Island, 8-0.

Men’s basketball
TBD (SEC Tournament Semifinals), 3:00 p.m.: If Florida is victorious against Arkansas on Friday night, they will advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2014. The quick turnaround will see the Gators facing the winner of Friday evening’s contest between Tennessee and Mississippi State.

Baseball
Florida vs. Rhode Island, 4:00 p.m.: The Gators’ second game of their Saturday doubleheader will start approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of their first contest of the day with the Rams.

Track and field
NCAA Indoor Championships, 5:00 p.m.: Competition continues for Florida, with all of today’s events being finals. Gators will participate in weight throw, triple jump, meter events, hurdles, and relays.

Softball
Florida vs. Kentucky, 6:00 p.m.: The Gators are back on the field for the second of their three-game series with the visiting Wildcats. Going into this weekend, Florida held a 49-14 all-time series advantage over Kentucky.

Sunday, March 11

Women’s golf
SunTrust Gator Invitational, All Day: Florida concludes play at the two-day Gainesville-based event. The tournament is being played at the Mark Bostick Golf Course, which has served as the Gators’ home course since the 1960s and has been home to the Gator Invitational since 1978.

Softball
Florida vs. Kentucky, 12:00 p.m.: The Gators conclude their three-game weekend series with the visiting Wildcats and conclude their first SEC series of the season. For the fifth consecutive season, Florida was picked by the league’s coaches as the favorite to win the conference.

Men’s basketball
TBD, SEC Tournament Championship, 1:00 p.m.: If Florida wins their quarterfinal and semifinal match-ups, the Gators will find themselves in the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2014 - when they last won the whole thing.

Women’s tennis
Florida vs. Texas A&M, 1:00 p.m.: Friday’s match with LSU marked the first time in 40 days that the Gators had played in the friendly confines of their home court. Florida continues its weekend home stand when the Aggies visit.

Men’s tennis
Florida vs. Auburn, 2:00 p.m.: The Gators are back in action, finishing their weekend on the road against the Tigers.

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

Schedule for Friday, March 9, 2018

Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
4:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Mississippi State none Hail State Sports none @GatorsMTN Hail State Sports
5:00 p.m. Women's tennis LSU none Florida Gators none @GatorsWTN Florida Gators
6:00 p.m. Softball Kentucky SEC Network+ WatchESPN WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
6:30 p.m. Baseball Rhode Island none none Florida Gators @GatorsBB Sidearm Stats
6:30 p.m. Track and field NCAA Indoor Championships ESPN3 WatchESPN none @GatorsTF Sidearm Stats
6:45 p.m. Gymnastics Nebraska SEC Network+ WatchESPN none @GatorsGym Sidearm Stats
9:30 p.m. Men's basketball Arkansas (SEC Quarterfinals) SEC Network WatchESPN Florida Gators @GatorsMBK ESPN

Schedule for Saturday, March 10, 2018

Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
All Day Women's golf SunTrust Gator Invitational none none none @GatorsGolf none
1:00 p.m. Baseball Rhode Island SEC Network+ WatchESPN Florida Gators @GatorsBB Sidearm Stats
3:00 p.m. Men's basketball SEC Tournament Semifinals ESPN WatchESPN TBD @GatorsMBK ESPN
4:00 p.m. Baseball Rhode Island SEC Network+ WatchESPN Florida Gators @GatorsBB Sidearm Stats
5:00 p.m. Track and field NCAA Indoor Championships ESPN3 WatchESPN none @GatorsTF Sidearm Stats
6:00 p.m. Softball Kentucky SEC Network+ WatchESPN WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats

Schedule for Sunday, March 11, 2018

Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
Time Team Opponent TV Streaming Radio Follow Stats
All Day Women's golf SunTrust Gator Invitational none none none @GatorsGolf none
12:00 p.m. Softball Kentucky SEC Network WatchESPN WMOP @GatorsSB Sidearm Stats
1:00 p.m. Men's basketball SEC Tournament Championship ESPN WatchESPN TBD @GatorsMBK ESPN
1:00 p.m. Women's tennis Texas A&M none Florida Gators none @GatorsWTN Florida Gators
2:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Auburn none Auburn Tigers none @GatorsMTN Auburn Tigers