Sunday May 8, 2011Gator Softball Earns No. 2 Seed in 2011 SEC Tournament; Set to Face No. 7 Seed Auburn Thursday
With its sweep over No. 3 Tennessee this weekend, the No. 4 Gator softball team won its fourth straight SEC Eastern Division title, the program’s fifth overall. Florida earned the No. 2 seed the SEC Tournament, hosted by Ole Miss at the Ole Miss Softball Complex May 12-14 in Oxford, Miss. The entire tournament will be televised live on the ESPN family of networks, as the first three quarterfinal games and the semifinals will air on ESPNU, while the fourth quarterfinal game will air on ESPN2 and the championship game will air primetime on ESPN at 8:00 (ET) May 14.
Florida will face the No. 7 seed, Auburn, in the first round of the single-elimination bracket Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast live by ESPNU. ESPN’s softball crew of Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza and Cara Capuano will be on hand for live coverage. SECSports.com will be live at the tournament as well, with exclusive online coverage behind the scenes.
Should Florida advance, it would play the winner of the Tennessee (No. 3 seed)/Kentucky (No. 6 seed) match up on May 13 at 3 p.m. (ET) in the semifinals on ESPNU.
The Gators are making their 15th consecutive SEC tournament appearance, having been each year of softball’s existence in the league. The Orange and Blue are 17-21 all-time in the SEC Tournament and went 1-1 in the tournament last season, including a 9-1 victory over Auburn in the first round, before being eliminated by LSU in a 9-1 loss in the semifinals.
Florida is 27-14 all-time against Auburn, 3-2 on neutral ground, including a series sweep at Auburn April 15-17 on the road. UF had arguably its best offensive output of the season, putting up a season-high 16 hits, while clocking a school-record eight homers in the Sunday series finale. On the weekend against the Tigers a month ago, the Gators dropped 15 homers. UF tallied 35 runs on 40 hits in the three-game league series. Freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) led Florida with a .714 batting clip, going 5-for-7 with seven runs, three homers and five RBI in the series.
Tickets for the single-elimination tournament can be purchased through the Ole Miss Athletic Ticket Office by visiting www.olemisssports.com.
2011 SEC Softball Tournament Bracket
Thursday, May 12
Game 1: #3 Tennessee vs. #6 Kentucky (ESPNU) 11:00 a.m.
Game 2: #2 Florida vs. #7 Auburn (ESPNU) 1:30 p.m.
Game 3: #4 LSU vs. #5 Georgia (ESPNU) 4:00 p.m.
Game 4: #1 Alabama vs. #8 Mississippi State (ESPN2) 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 13 (Semifinals)
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (ESPNU) 2:00 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (ESPNU) 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 14
Championship Game (ESPN) 7:00 p.m.
ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL