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Wednesday February 20, 2013No. 5 Softball Ready for Competition at Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs

Gainesville, Fla.

Off to a 12-0 start for the second time in the last three seasons, the No. 5 Gator softball team will open a five-game schedule at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., Thursday. UF will tilt with Loyola Marymount (2/21), Oklahoma State (2/21), Syracuse (2/22), No. 7 Missouri (2/22) and Georgia Tech (2/23) at the three-day classic in the desert Feb. 21-23. Held at Palm Springs’ Big League Dreams Sports Complex, the Gators are one of five SEC programs competing in the tournament.

 

Gator fans can follow all the action in Palm Springs by turning the radio dial to WYGC-FM 104.9, 105 The Game, with the call by play-by-play Mike Gillespie and former Gator All-American Megan Bush, or listen to the live audio stream online. Fans can also follow online through GameTracker, with all accessible links for each game on the UF softball schedule page.

 

Florida’s clash with No. 7 Mizzou will be the Gators’ fourth Top-25 match-up thus far this season and UF has an unblemished record against the high-caliber competition with wins over then-No. 3 Cal, No. 5/6 Oregon and No. 13/14 Arizona as part of the Gators’ season-opening competition at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

 

While Florida won’t match up with SEC newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M, or SEC West opponents Alabama and LSU in conference play this year, the Gators will face Mizzou this weekend and Alabama March 6 in non-conference action.

 

Four Gators hail from California and will have the chance to play in front of a home crowd as part of UF’s annual trip out west to the Golden State. Freshman Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.), sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.), junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) and senior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) all call California home.

 

The Orange and Blue are coming off a week full of competition – seven games – including a mid-week contest at Jacksonville last Wednesday and the first of two home tournaments, the Lipton Invitational, last weekend which featured six Gator games to debut the home portion of Florida’s schedule at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

 

A total of 30 extra-base hits highlighted the past week of play for Florida as the Gators posted four run-rule wins, four shutouts and capped the Lipton Invite off with an eight-inning thriller Sunday over a feisty and competitive Charleston Southern squad.

 

Florida’s three-woman pitching triumvirate of Alyssa Bache (10.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 14 K, 1 BB), Hannah Rogers (15.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 H, 13 K, 5 BB) and Lauren Haeger (11.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 15 K, 5 BB) allowed just four runs throughout the duration of UF’s first home tournament last weekend, while the Florida offense posted 54 runs during the six weekend games and another 11, compared to Jacksonville’s three, Feb. 13. Bache leads UF with a 0.39 ERA this season, while Rogers (1.47 ERA) and Haeger (1.75 ERA) round out UF’s pitching staff.

 

As a team, UF batted .338, had a .676 slugging percentage and .464 on-base mark throughout its Lipton Invite schedule. Six Gators batted over .400 on the weekend, highlighted by Haeger, who went 4-for-7 (.467) with two doubles and two homers, including the equalizer in the bottom of the seventh to force extras Sunday against Charleston Southern. Throughout the week, including the win over Jacksonville, Haeger batted .500 on the weekend with two victories in the circle for the Gators.

 

Last week’s SEC Player of the Week, Florida leadoff freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) has had a tremendous impact on UF’s offensive efforts this season and thus far leads UF at the plate with her .488 batting clip.

Throughout the past weekend, Stewart had four extra-base hits, including an in-the-park home run that showcased her speed. Stewart notched two extra-base hits (double and triple) in her best performance of the weekend (3-for-4) against UNC Wilmington Sunday and extended her hit streak to a team-best nine games before resetting Saturday.

 

Stewart has reached base in every game for the Gators this season for a team-long 12-game reached base streak and was a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases last week, now 13/13 on the season to lead the Orange and Blue. On the season, she also leads the Gators with seven multiple hit games – three of those in the last week of play – and also leads Florida with four multiple RBI contests, accounting for half of those last week against Jacksonville and UNC Wilmington.

 

 

About the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

The MNCC is the largest and most competitive Division I softball event outside of the NCAA postseason. The annual classic features a total of 35 top D1 programs, all held at one complex in Palm Springs, and includes PAC 12, Big 10, Big 12, SEC and ACC institutions, among others.

 

MARY NUTTER 2013 SCHEDULE

MARY NUTTER COLLEGIATE CLASSIC CENTRAL

 

 

Florida Versus Its Mary Nutter Opponents

DATE

TEAM

TIME (ET)

FIELD

RECORD

LAST MEETING

Feb. 21

Loyola Marymount

1:30 p.m.

Wrigley

UF leads, 2-0

March 7, 2010 in Fullerton, CA (UF 13, LMU 1; 5 inn)

Feb. 21

Oklahoma State

4 p.m.

Wrigley

UF leads, 1-0

March 22, 1997 in Gainesville, FL (UF 2, OSU 1)

Feb. 22

Syracuse

1 p.m.

Yankee

UF leads, 1-0

March 4, 2011 in Gainesville, FL (UF 2, SU 0)

Feb. 22

No. 7 Missouri

3:30 p.m.

Yankee

UF leads, 3-0

June 2, 2011 at WCWS (UF 6, Mizzou 2)

Feb. 23

Georgia Tech

12:30 p.m.

Fenway

UF leads, 5-1

Feb. 13, 2010 in Clearwater, FL (GT 3, UF 0)

 

 

All broadcast information, including GameTracker, radio and GatorVision live streaming links for the Gators this season, and this weekend during the Marry Nutter Collegiate Classic can be found on UF’s schedule page.

 

Be sure to follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball.

 

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