Gator Softball History & Links
June 13, 1995
The University of Florida Athletic Association Board of Directors, acting on a recommendation from President Dr. John Lombardi, approved the addition of women's softball to Florida's intercollegiate athletic program.
September 4, 1995
Larry Ray, top assistant at perennial national power Arizona the past 10 seasons, was the University of Florida's selection as head coach of the inaugural Gator softball team, Athletic Director Jeremy Foley announced.
November 8, 1995
Lora Pinkerton signed a national letter-of-intent to attend the University of Florida, becoming the first signee for the Gators.
February 1, 1996
Ground was broken on the construction of the new softball facility, located at the corner of Hull and Museum Roads.
September 30, 1996
The Gators held their first day of fall practice on the field at the new stadium.
November 2, 1996
Florida hosted the Gator Fall Softball Tournament, where they defeat Florida Community College at Jacksonville, 4-0, in its first-ever competition, held at the Southwest Recreation Center Fields on the UF campus.
January 26, 1997
The Gators had their first practice of the spring season at the UAA Softball Complex.
February 8, 1997
Florida played its inaugural doubleheader, defeating Stetson in both games. The first pitch was thrown by UF’s Chelsey Sakizzie to Stetson’s Bryttnee Roberts at 4:01:13 p.m. ET. Roberts fouled off the pitch and Sakizzie went on to strike out the side. The following are the list of firsts for the UF softball team:
- First SEC hit by UF player Amy Criswell at 4:12 p.m. ET. Criswell singled down left field line off Stetson's Jean Bonnici in the first inning.
- First SEC run scored by UF's Amy Criswell at 4:19:13 p.m. ET. Criswell scored from first on a throwing error by Stetson's 3B Traci Brown on a bunt by UF's Trisha Ward.
- First SEC extra base hit at 4:24 p.m. ET by UF player Kristin Sandler. Sandler doubled to left center in first.
- End of first inning UF vs. Stetson at 4:26 p.m. ET.
- First hit allowed by UF vs. Stetson at 4:29 p.m. ET. Julie Wagner connected with one of Chelsey Sakizzie's pitches, the only hit Sakizzie allowed in the game.
- First RBI by UF's Kristin Sandler who doubled home Nicole Kreipl.
- First stolen base by UF's Lora Pinkerton who stole second after reaching first on a single to center.
- First win by UF, 8-0, vs. Stetson at 5:29 p.m. ET. The game lasted 1:28 and 2,388 people attended the game.
February 14, 1997
Florida’s 4-3 eight-inning loss to Northwestern in Gainesville marked the first time an SEC team played an extra-inning game.
February 15, 1997
Florida then defeated Florida Atlantic, 1-0, in eight innings for the league’s first extra-innings win.
February 15, 1997
Jennifer Cordero hit UF's first home run at UF Softball stadium against Loyola (Ill.). It was an inside-the-park homer.
February 19, 1997
The Gators beat No. 17 Florida State in the first game of a doubleheader for their first win over a ranked team.
March 5, 1997
Florida and Arkansas squared off in the first SEC softball game as the Gators earned the first-ever SEC win with a 2-1, nine-inning victory over the Razorbacks. Chelsey Sakizzie recorded the first pitch, a strike, to Augrista Belford at 6:01:10 p.m. ET and went on to strike Belford out. The following is a list of SEC softball firsts:
- First hit in a SEC game by Arkansas's Gretchen Thompson
- First extra base hit (a double) in a SEC game by Arkansas's Gretchen Thompson
- First run in a SEC game by Arkansas's Brett Erickson
- First RBI in a SEC game by Arkansas's Tammy Kincaid, who singled home Brett Erickson
- First stolen base in a SEC game by UF's Trisha Ward, who stole second in the fifth inning
- First win in a SEC game at 8:20 p.m. ET; the game lasted 2:20 and 713 people attended.
- First extra-inning SEC game
March 11, 1997
Tennessee’s Jackie Beavers hurled a three-hit, 1-0 shutout against Florida for the league’s first-ever shutout victory.
March 15, 1997
South Carolina’s Trinity Johnson recorded the SEC’s first no-hitter in a 5-0 victory against the Gators.
May 9, 1997
Florida and Alabama faced each other in the first SEC Tournament game in the league’s history. Alabama’s Christy Caccavo threw the first pitch, a ball, to Florida’s Amy Criswell. The first hit of the augural tournament was a home run by the Crimson Tide’s Kierstin Arntsen off UF’s Chrlsey Sakizzie in the first inning.
March 7, 1998
Chelsey Sakizzie threw UF's first perfect game against Iowa State in the Speedline Invitational, striking out 10 batters in nine innings to capture a 1-0 victory.
March 17, 1998
The Gators entered the USA Today/NCFA Coaches Top-25 Poll for the first time, appearing at the No. 25 position. Chelsey Sakizzie was the first UF player to be named SEC Pitcher of the Week. She went on to earn that honor twice again the same season.
March 28, 1998
Emily Marino hit Florida’s first out-of-the-park home run at the UF Softball stadium in the last game of the Tennessee series, securing a 5-3 Gator victory.
May 3, 1998
UF captured its first SEC regular-season title. The Gators entered the stretch in second place in the SEC standings with a 19-5 overall SEC record, as No. 10 LSU held the top position with a league record of 22-3. Thanks to a combination of Florida's four-game sweep over SEC East Division rival Georgia and Alabama taking three-of-four games from LSU the same weekend, the Gators moved to the top of the SEC regular-season standings.
May 5, 1998
The Gators, boasting a 47-20 overall and 23-5 SEC record, received their first berth into the NCAA tournament as the No. 3 seed in the Region 6 bracket. The Gators fell to host team South Florida, 1-0, and Arizona State, 1-0.
May 6, 1998
Chelsey Sakizzie became Florida’s first SEC Softball Player of the Year and Coach Larry Ray was named SEC Softball Coach of the Year.
January 27, 1999
The Gators opened their spring season as a ranked team for the first time as they were voted No. 20 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.
February 12, 1999
UF opened against a ranked team for the first time with No. 11 DePaul. The Gators won 3-2, as junior Beth Dieter earned the win to become the first Gator walkon to earn the No. 1 pitching spot.
April 11, 1999
Nicole Kreipl became the first Gator to have her name in the NCAA record book as she tied for first with three doubles in a single game in a 9-1 victory over Florida A&M.
March 9, 1999
A four-game South Carolina series marked the first time UF opened conference play against a ranked opponent, it was also the first time UF began SEC action against the Gamecocks. The Gators captured the first SEC victory of any league team this season with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over No. 13 South Carolina in Gainesville.
February 11, 2000
Coach Larry Ray coached his 200th game in his fourth year at the helm of the Gator program. UF won 3-2 in eight innings against Stetson.
April 28, 2000
The Gators set the UF home wins record with their 24th triumph against No. 21 Mississippi State. UF finished the season 28-7 at the Florida Softball Stadium.
May 9, 2000
Seniors Jennifer Cordero, Beth Dieter, Jennifer Lutsi and Lora Pinkerton, and juniors Ashley Boone and Emily Marino, and sophomore Andrea Zimbardi were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, setting a school record of seven student-athletes.
May 14, 2000
Jennifer Mossadeghi was the first UF freshman to be named to the SEC All-Tournament Team. She set a league tournament single-game record with two doubles against Arkansas the day before.
May 19, 2000
Florida recorded its first run in an NCAA Tournament game to earn its first post-season win. The Gators upset No. 1 seed and No. 6 ranked Fresno State, 1-0.
June 16, 2001
Karen Johns was named the second coach of the UF softball program.
August 18, 2001
Construction on the locker room facility began. The building housed a locker room, shower area, equipment room and team meeting area. It was completed for the start of the 2001 season. Jim McGinley of Alachua, Fla., was the architect, and Burns Brothers Inc. of Gainesville, Fla., was the contractor.
February 18, 2002
The Gators defeated North Carolina, 10-0, in their season opener at the Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium. In the third game of the GRU Classic, freshmen pitchers Amanda Knowles and Brittani Houghton combined for the first opening-day no hitter and the first combined no hitter by two freshmen in the program's history.
October 21, 2002
Five members of the team were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Academic All-Americans. Sophomore Nikki Baldwin, junior Jenilee Garner, senior Andrea Zimbardi and freshman Jessica Franklin earned the honor for the first time in their careers. Senior Jennifer Brown earned the honor for the second time in her career.
April 18, 2003
Junior right-handed pitcher Jenny Gladding pitched the third no-hitter of her career and hit a home run to lead Florida to its first of two shutout wins against Tennessee in Gainesville, Fla. Days later she became the first player program history to be recognized for as a national player of the week as she was named USA Softball National Player of the Week.
April 27, 2003
The Gators broke the school record for stolen bases in a game with 12 as they defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 6-1, in Gainesville, Fla.
February 21, 2004
The Florida softball team recorded its 11th straight win with an 8-2 win over Houston in Houston, Texas. With the win, the Gators set a new school record with an 11-game winning streak. The previous record was nine games set in 2001.
March 11, 2004
The team recorded the program’s 300th win with a 9-4 victory over Michigan State in Fullerton, Calif.
March 24, 2004
Floridawrapped up a series win against Alabama with a 5-1 victory in Tuscaloosa, Ala., winning the first series over the Crimson Tide since the 1997 season.
May 7, 2005
The No. 23 Florida Softball team ensured the sixth 40-win season in the nine-year history of the program with a doubleheader sweep of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.
June 21, 2005
Tim Walton was hired as Florida’s third head softball coach.
May 6, 2006
Floridarecorded its 400th win with a doubleheader sweep of South Carolina at the Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.
May 20, 2007
UF advanced to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional with a 3-0 win over Texas in Gainesville, Fla.
April 16, 2008
Floridatallied its 500th program win in a doubleheader sweep of instate-rival Florida State with 6-1 and 14-4 wins.
May 10, 2008
The team won its first-ever SEC Tournament title after defeating Alabama, 4-1, in Baton Rouge, La., on a grand slam by senior Mary Ratliff.
May 18, 2008
Floridafell to UCF, 1-0, in eight innings in the NCAA Regional action, bringing its 37-game win streak to a halt. The Gators set the longest winning streak and the longest home win streak of 41 games in program history.
May 24, 2008
The top-seeded University of Florida softball team made its first-ever trip to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the Women’s College World Series after defeating California in the Super Regionals in Gainesville, Fla., hosting the NCAA event for the first time.
May 28, 2008
Five softball players earn NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-America honors, the most in a single season the program’s history. Juniors Stacey Nelson and Ali Gardiner, were named to the first team, freshman Aja Paculba and sophomore Francesca Enea, earned second-team honors and junior Kim Waleszonia was named to the third team.
June 2, 2008
Floridabecame the first team in NCAA history to record 70 wins in a season with a 70-5 record. Each of Florida’s losses were by only one run, four of them 1-0 losses, and opponents only scored seven runs against the Gators in their defeats.
January 27, 2009
For the first time in the history of the program, the Gators open the season with the No. 1 overall ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NCFA preseason polls.
April 4, 2009
Head Coach Tim Walton tallied his 200th win as the head coach of the Florida Gators in only his fourth season. He became the first UF coach to reach the 200-victory mark.
April 18, 2009
With two shutout victories over LSU in Baton Rouge, the Gators clinched their second SEC regular-season title as head coach Tim Walton recorded his first two wins over the Tigers in their home stadium.
May 6, 2009
A record seven Gators earned All-SEC honors, including senior Stacey Nelson taking home her second SEC Pitcher of the Year award and first-team honors. Also on the first team were sophomores Aja Paculba and Kelsey Bruder while senior Ali Gardiner, junior Francesca Enea and sophomore Stephanie Brombacher and Megan Bush were on the third team. Tim Walton earned his second SEC Coach of the Year award.
May 9, 2009
Top-seeded University of Florida defeats Alabama for the second year in a row to win the SEC Tournament.
May 26, 2009
Senior Stacey Nelson became the first Florida student-athlete in any sport to earn the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact.
May 27, 2009
Five softball players earn NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-America honors. Senior Stacey Nelson was named to the first team while sophomores Stephanie Brombacher Kelsey Bruder and Aja Paculba and junior Francesca Enea were named to the second team.
Nelson led a group of four players named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans by CoSIDA, the most in a single year in the program’s history. Nelson earned the Gators’ first-ever Academic All-American of the Year, along with first-team honors with fellow senior Kristina Hilberth. Senior Ali Gardiner and Brombacher garnered third-team honors.
May 31, 2009
The Gator softball team advances to its first Women’s College World Series championship series by defeating the Alabama on a walk-off grand slam by senior Ali Gardiner. With 86 home runs on the season, the Gators set a new SEC single-season record. They also recorded the most walks ever in the league with 274.
June 15, 2009
Recent senior Stacey Nelson was named to the USA Softball Women’s National Team and the USA Softball Japan Cup Team, becoming the first UF player to earn a spot on the national team.
October 5, 2009
Floridaranked fifth in the nation with a 3.49 team GPA, marking the highest ranking in program history and the first time the Gators cracked the top 10. UF was the highest ranking team that made the 2009 tournament. Earlier in the year, the Gators named a school-record 14 players to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
November 13, 2009
The Gators partner with the Friends of Jaclyn non-profit organization to add 13-year-old Heather Braswell as a teammate. Heather joined the Gator Softball family after she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in early 2008. The Apopka, Fla., native spent more than four years with the Orange and Blue before she passed away on March 25, 2014.
March 5, 2010
UF chalked up its 600th all-time win in a 12-3 victory over Pacific.
May 26, 2010
Stephanie Brombacher and Kelsey Bruder earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors from CoSIDA.
June 2, 2010
Stephanie Brombacher and Francesca Enea were named All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Louisville Slugger.
August 29, 2010
Francesca Enea and Tim Walton win the National Pro Fastpitch championship with the USSSA Florida Pride. The Pride defeat the Chicago Bandits two games to one in the best-of-three championship series in Sulphur, La.
February 11, 2011
Tim Walton earns his 400th career win as a head coach when the Gators defeat Florida Gulf Coast, 6-0, in the second game of a season-opening doubleheader at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla.
March 30, 2011
A trio of Gators are selected in the National Pro Fastpitch draft – Kelsey Bruder (USSSA Pride), Megan Bush (Akron Racers) and Aja Paculba (NPF Diamonds).
May 11, 2011
Kelsey Bruder is named SEC Player of the Year and Tim Walton earns SEC Co-Coach of the Year honors, headlining a crop of 11 conference awards for a group of seven Gators. Florida places three players on the All-SEC First Team, three on the All-SEC Second Team, two on the Freshman All-SEC Team and two on the SEC All-Defensive Team.
May 26, 2011
Stephanie Brombacher earns Capital One Academic All-America honors for the third time, leading a quartet of Gators who earn the highest recognition for academic excellence in college softball. Joining Brombacher on the team are fellow Gators Kelsey Bruder, Megan Bush and Michelle Moultrie.
June 2, 2011
Florida lands a national-best and program-high six players on the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America teams. Kelsey Bruder, Megan Bush and Brittany Schutte earn spots on the First Team, while Hannah Rogers is a Second Team selection and Michelle Moultrie and Aja Paculba are named to the Third Team.
June 5, 2011
The Gators advance to the WCWS championship series for the second time in program history following a doubleheader sweep of SEC rival Alabama. The squad sets single-season school records in five major offensive categories.
June 14, 2011
Kelsey Bruder wins the 2011 Honda Sports Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in softball. The honor is based on the results of national voting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards.
June 29, 2011
The NFCA names UF coaches Tim Walton, Jennifer Rocha, Jenny Gladding and Coy Adkins as the Southeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year. It marks the fourth time in a five-year span that Florida has won the Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honor.
October 23, 2011
Gator outfielder Michelle Moultrie strikes gold with the United States national team at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Red, White and Blue defeated Canada 11-1 in the gold-medal game to earn its eight Pan-Am Games title.
December 18, 2011
Florida’s gold-medal tally for the year rises to four as Cheyenne Coyle, Jessica Damico and Lauren Haeger win the ISF IX Junior Women’s World Championship crown with Team USA in Cape Town, South Africa. Haeger earned the win for the Eagles in the championship game in a 4-1 victory over Japan.
January 13, 2012
Kelsey Bruder wins the NCAA Top VIII Award, which recognizes eight student-athletes from around the country for their success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
January 23, 2012
Bruder adds to her awards haul when she is one of two recipients of the 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Award, presented each year to the top male and female student-athletes at the University of Florida.
February 18, 2012
Florida earns the 700th win in program annals with an 11-1, five-inning decision over Michigan State at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
March 19, 2012
Gator outfielder Michelle Moultrie is drafted by the USSSA Florida Pride of National Pro Fastpitch in the fourth round of the 2012 NPF Draft.
May 9, 2012
Moultrie is named SEC Player of the Year, leading a group of seven Gators who are selected to All-SEC squads. In addition to Moultrie, Florida sees conference honors for Kelsey Horton and Hannah Rogers (Second Team All-SEC) and Alyssa Bache, Jessica Damico, Sami Fagan and Lauren Haeger (Freshman All-SEC). Rogers and Moultrie additionally are named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.
May 29, 2012
Moultrie and Kelsey Horton are named Capital One Academic All-Americans, as selected by CoSIDA. The duo earn the 20th and 21st Academic All-America honors by Florida players during Tim Walton’s tenure in Gainesville.
May 30, 2012
Moultrie and Hannah Rogers garner NFCA All-America honors, with the senior outfielder landing on the First Team and the sophomore pitcher earning a Second-Team selection.
June 14, 2012
UF earns public recognition from the NCAA as one of 30 schools in the country to post multiple-year Academic Progress Rate scores in the top-10 percent of all softball teams in the country.
March 27, 2013
Briana Little hits a walkoff grand slam over the left-field scoreboard as Florida defeats in-state rival Florida State 7-3 (8 innings) before a facility-record crowd of 2,443 fans at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
May 7, 2013
Tim Walton is named SEC Coach of the Year for the fourth time. In addition, UF lands two players each on the league’s First-Team (Lauren Haeger and Hannah Rogers), Second-Team (Kelsey Horton and Kelsey Stewart) and Freshman (Stewart and Kirsti Merritt) squads.
May 12, 2013
Florida defeats Missouri, 10-4, in Lexington, Ky., to capture its third SEC Tournament title. The Gators earn their third sweep of the league’s regular-season and tournament crowns (also: 2008, 2009).
May 29, 2013
Lauren Haeger and Hannah Rogers are named First Team All-Americans by the NFCA.
June 1, 2013
UF earns a 9-8 (15 innings) win over Nebraska in a WCWS elimination game in Oklahoma City. The contest marks the longest WCWS game in 19 years and the longest game in school history.
June 5, 2013
For the second straight year, the NCAA tabs Florida for public recognition as the Gators post multiple-year Academic Progress Rates in the top-10 percent of all softball teams nationwide.
July 25, 2013
Kelsey Horton is one of 29 female student-athletes selected for the NCAA’s spring sports postgraduate scholarship.To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Candidates must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution’s faculty athletics representative.
May 6, 2014
Five Gators earn All-SEC accolades, led by Kelsey Stewart’s First-Team honor. In addition, Hannah Rogers and Stephanie Tofft are named to the Second Team, while Justine McLean is an SEC All-Freshman Team selection. Finally, Rogers, Stewart, Tofft and Taylor Schwarz are named to the league’s All-Defensive Team.
May 7, 2014
Florida earns public recognition from the NCAA for posting an Academic Progress Rate that ranks in the top 10 percent of all Division I softball teams. The Gators are one of three UF teams (also: men’s and women’s basketball) and one of two SEC softball teams tabbed by the NCAA.
May 16, 2014
Delanie Gourley no-hits Florida A&M in the Gators’ 8-0 (5 innings) win over Florida A&M to open NCAA Regional play. The “no-no” is UF’s first postseason no-hitter.
May 25, 2014
Kirsti Merritt concludes a rain-delayed Super Regional with a walkoff home run in Game 3 to lift Florida past Washington and send the Gators to Oklahoma City for the sixth time.
May 28, 2014
Kelsey Stewart (First Team) and Hannah Rogers (Third Team) earn All-America honors from the NFCA. Rogers becomes Gator Softball’s first four-time All-American.
June 1, 2014
UF defeats Baylor, 6-3, to advance to the WCWS championship series for the third time in school history.
June 2, 2014
Florida shuts out SEC rival Alabama, 5-0, to earn its first win in five tries at the WCWS championship series.
June 3, 2014
The Gators top the Crimson Tide, 6-3, to capture the program’s first national championship. Hannah Rogers is named Most Outstanding Player of the WCWS, while Bailey Castro, Kirsti Merritt, Aubree Munro and Kelsey Stewart join the senior on the All-Tournament Team.
June 4, 2014
The national champions return home and celebrate their title with their home fans at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
June 12, 2014
Stephanie Tofft signs with the Akron Racers of National Pro Fastpitch; the Racers would advance to the 2014 NPF championship series later that summer.
July 1, 2014
Hannah Rogers is selected as the 2014 Southeastern Conference Female Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Gator Softball player to earn this accolade and earning Florida’s 10th league Athlete of the Year.
July 13, 2014
Michelle Moultrie and Kelsey Stewart help the U.S. national team to victory at the World Cup of Softball in Irvine, Calif., while Kathlyn Medina competes with Mexico.
July 16, 2014
Hannah Rogers attends the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles with Gator gymnasts Mackenzie Caquatto and Alaina Johnson. The trio accepts the 2014 Women’s Capital One Cup trophy, which is presented by Gator Great and U.S. Olympian Dara Torres.
October 11, 2014
Stacey Nelson and Hannah Rogers perform the “Two Bits” routine before the Florida-LSU football game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gator pitchers are the first females to serve as the Honorary Two Bits.
November 5, 2014
Rogers signs with the USSSA Pride, becoming the second member of the Gators’ 2014 national championship team (Stephanie Tofft) to join a National Pro Fastpitch team.