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Sunday May 10, 2009Softball Receives No. 1 Seed in NCAA Tournament

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 1/1 University of Florida received the No. 1 overall seed in the 2009 NCAA Softball Tournament.  The Gators (55-3) will host Florida A&M (30-30), Lehigh (36-16-1) and Texas A&M (31-19) in Regional action in Gainesville beginning on Friday, May 15.


Lehigh and Texas A&M will battle at 3:30 p.m., while the Gators will face FAMU at 6 p.m.  The rest of the weekend’s schedule will be released later in the week.


The No. 1 seeding is the second straight for the Gators as they earned the same ranking last season.  UF won the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament titles this year, as it did in 2008.


Florida A&M won the 2009 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament to earn an automatic bid the tournament.  Lehigh also earned their conference’s automatic spot, winning the Patriot League Tournament for the second straight year.  Texas A&M earned one of the 34 at-large bids. 


The Gators have not faced any of their Regional opponents this season.  Last year, they fell to Texas A&M in a 1-0, nine-inning game in the Women’s College World Series, ending UF’s season.  The Aggies went on to lose to Arizona State in the Championship. 


Florida is one of nine SEC teams to make the national tournament, the most of any conference in the nation.  Three other conference teams earned top-16 seeds as No. 4 Alabama and No. 13 Tennessee will host and No. 6 Georgia will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C.  Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Mississippi State also made the field of 64.


Eight Big 12 teams made the cut, with four earning top-16 seeds, while six PAC-10 team and six Big 10 teams earned bids. 


The winner of the Gainesville Regional will face the winner of the Tallahassee Regional.  Florida State earned the 16th seed and will host California, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State.


The Gators earned their fifth consecutive top-16 seed.  Aside from the No. 1 seed last year, they earned the No. 13 seed in 2005 and 2007 and the No. 16 seed in 2006.  It is the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance for UF in the 13-year history of the program, the seventh consecutive and sixth time the Gators will host. 


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