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Wednesday February 6, 2013No. 14/15 Gator Softball Opens 2013 Season at Kajikawa Classic Feb. 8-10

Gainesville, Fla.

In what will be a homecoming for Gator sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.), the No. 14/15 Gator softball squad will embark upon Tempe, Ariz., for season-opening play at the 2013 Kajikawa Classic Feb. 8-10. Hosted by Arizona State University, the Orange and Blue will compete in five games throughout the span of the three-day classic, including match-ups with three teams ranked in the preseason top 15. Florida will open with Creighton at 4 p.m. ET Friday at ASU’s Farrington Stadium, followed by No. 5/6 Oregon at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Tempe Sports Complex.

 

Gator fans can follow all of UF’s games in Arizona on Gametracker through the UF schedule page, or by tuning the radio dial to WYGC-FM105 The Game (104.9) locally with play-by-play Mike Gillespie and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call. Fans can also tune into the live audio stream of each broadcast online.

 

The Gators own a 25-5 all-time opening day record and UF is 11-3 under head coach Tim Walton in season openers. Florida visits Tempe for play in the Kajikawa Classic for the first time since 2007 when the Gators participated in the tournament and for the third time in program history, Florida will play Oregon as part of its opening-day slate.

 

TOURNAMENT NOTES

TIM WALTON PRESEASON PRESS CONFERENCE

COMPLETE KAJIKAWA CLASSIC SCHEDULE

 

The Gators, who were predicted to finish fourth in the SEC Eastern Division behind Tennessee, SEC newcomer Mizzou and Georgia, will welcome a challenge when they square off with three preseason top-15 opponents in the three-day tournament in the desert. After taking on the Jays and Ducks on opening day Feb. 8, Florida will clash with Cal State Northridge and No. 3/3 Cal Feb. 9, before wrapping up the road trip with a date against No. 13/14 Arizona Sunday, Feb. 10.

 

Florida Versus its Kajikawa Opponents – more in tournament notes

Date

Opponent

Location/Field

Series Notes

2/8

Creighton

Farrington Stadium

First meeting

2/8

No. 5/6 Oregon

Tempe Sports Complex SW

Florida leads the series, 4-2

2/9

Cal State Northridge

Tempe Sports Complex NW

Northridge leads the series, 4-2

2/9

No. 3/3 Cal

Tempe Sports Complex NE

Florida leads the series, 6-3

2/10

No. 13/14 Arizona

Farrington Stadium

Arizona leads the series, 5-2

 

Quick Notables

Seven of UF’s 16 roster members are newcomers, including six freshmen and junior transfer Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.), while six others are just sophomores. That puts the veteran leadership into the hands of junior two-time All-American and All-SEC hurler Hannah Rog­ers(Lake Wales, Fla.) and senior outfielder/utility players Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) and Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.). While they may be young, the Gators aren’t lacking tal­ent: three freshmen were ranked on ESPN’s Top 100 recruiting list, including Kansas native Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) (No. 2 overall recruit), local athlete Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) (No. 6 recruit at catcher) and Californian Au­bree Munro (Brea, Calif.) (No. 7 recruit at catcher). Of UF’s sophomore talent, four of six athletes were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2012, led by RHP/1B Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.), who also picked up NFCA All-Southeast Region First Team honors her first year on campus.

 

A Quick Look Back at 2012

The Gators cruised to a 48-13 overall record (21-7 SEC) for UF’s fifth-straight 20-win league campaign. The Gators finished third overall in the SEC standings. Florida played in the SEC Tourna­ment Championship for the fifth time in program history and Walton earned career victory No. 500, becom­ing the fastest active coach in the SEC to reach the milestone. Led by two All-Americans (Hannah Rogers/Michelle Moultrie) and two Academic All-Americans (Michelle Moultrie/Kelsey Horton), the Gators received a NCAA Tournament bid for the 13th time in program history, hosted a Regional for the ninth time overall and eighth straight year as the No. 5 National Seed, the program’s fifth consecutive top-five seed. After an unprecedented four-consecutive WCWS trips 2008-11, the Gators were eliminated at home by USF in Regional play.

 

 

Be sure to follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Florida softball and for updates throughout opening weekend.

 

 

 

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