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Thursday March 7, 2013No. 4 Softball Continues Alabama Road Swing, Opens SEC Play at Auburn March 8-10

Auburn, Ala.

FLORIDA GAME NOTES | AUBURN GAME NOTES

 

The No. 4 Gator softball team will continue its spring break road swing in the Heart of Dixie this weekend, as UF opens the 2013 Southeastern Conference schedule with a three-game set at Auburn March 8-10. Florida improved to 23-1 overall on the season with an 8-4 victory over the No. 1 Crimson Tide Wednesday in a non-conference clash, while the Gators chalked up their fourth win over a top-25 opponent this year to improve to 4-1 against ranked competition this season.

 

Three times under UF head coach Tim Walton, the Gators have served the defending national champion its first loss of the season – the Gators topped 2005 national champion Michigan, 3-2, Walton’s first year on campus in 2006 for the Wolverines’ first loss that year before serving 2006 WCWS champion Arizona its first loss of the season in 2007 with a 3-1 victory at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., that year. UF’s win over defending champion Bama Wednesday marked the third such occurrence for Walton-coached teams the last seven-plus years.

 

UF is out to an impressive 23-1 record so far this season, the third-best start in program history. The Gators’ 30-1 start three seasons ago in 2011 was its best, while Florida was 26-1 in 2008 before suffering its second loss.

 

The Orange and Blue will look to carry momentum from the big mid-week victory to this weekend’s conference opening series against AU. The Gators and Tigers will meet at Auburn’s Jane B. Moore Field at 7 p.m. (ET) Friday and 2 p.m. (ET) on both Saturday and Sunday in Auburn.

 

All Gator softball games this season will be live locally on WYGC-FM 105 (104.9) The Game, with audio streaming available on GatorZone.com. For all other broadcast and television information, visit the UF schedule page.

 

The entire Florida | Auburn series will be streamed live online and is pay-per-view, while live stats for each game will additionally be available online through Gametracker.

 

FLORIDA IN SEC OPENERS

The Gators are 23-9 all-time on SEC opening day and 10-4 under head coach Tim Walton in league openers. Florida enters 2013 SEC play with a 293-155 (.654) all-time program record in league play.

 

Last season, the Gators went 21-7 in conference play, their fifth consecutive 20-win league record. The Gators finished second in the SEC East and third overall in the conference standings in 2012. Florida additionally played in the SEC Tournament Championship for the fifth time in program history.

 

UF opens league play against Auburn for the first time under Walton, having opened with Alabama (‘06), Tennessee (‘07), Ole Miss (‘08, ‘10), South Carolina (‘09), LSU (‘11) and Mississippi State (’12) the past seven years.

 

LAST TIME OUT FOR FLORIDA

Freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) ripped a two-RBI double to deep left center in the top of the sixth to plate the game-winning runs for the Gator softball squad in an 8-4 victory over No. 1 Alabama Wednesday at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa. UF improved to 23-1 on the season, while serving the Crimson Tide (22-1) their first loss of the season.

 

Fuller’s clutch hit put Florida ahead, 5-4, after the sixth and UF added three more runs for insurance in the top of the seventh to close out Wednesday’s back-and-forth battle with the Crimson Tide in the unique non-conference match-up. Florida used 10 hits on the evening, including nine in the sixth and seventh combined, to top defending national champion Alabama. The Gators were led by sophomore Lauren Haeger’s (Peoria, Ariz.) 2-for-3 performance at the plate Wednesday. Sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.), senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) and junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) all went 2-for-4 in the four, five and six holes for the Orange and Blue.

 

Junior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) (11-1) tossed her 11th victory of the season after working the first five innings. Rogers fanned five, gave up just two earned runs on six hits before Haeger came on for Florida’s first save of the season, putting together two innings of hitless, scoreless relief – including four strikeouts.

 

After scoring just one run through the first four innings, the Gators used a one-run fifth inning and two huge three-run innings – and nine more hits – in the sixth and seventh to top the Crimson Tide.

 

SCOUTING AUBURN

Auburn enters the SEC-opening series with the Florida at 17-5 overall on the season. Like the Gators, the Tigers had a mid-week contest, a 9-6 victory over Alabama State Wednesday in Montgomery. Prior to the match-up with ASU, Auburn hosted the War Eagle Classic at home March 1-3, and the Tigers went 4-1 on the weekend, defeating Middle Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, Charlotte and Southern, while dropping a 4-3 decision to Minnesota in extra innings.

 

Branndi Melero leads AU at the plate with a .460 batting clip with four doubles, a triple and five homers. Melero additionally has a team best six stolen bases (6-8). In the circle, Hilary Mavromat (1.29 ERA) and Marcy Harper (2.21 ERA) have tossed a majority of the innings for the Tigers, Mavromat (5-1) working 49.0 inings thus far with 33 strikeouts and Harper (7-2) checking in with 42 Ks in 50.2 innings pitched. Lexi Davis rounds out AU’s pitching staff with a 2.31 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 36.1 innings in the circle for a 5-2 record this season.

 

FLORIDA | AUBURN SERIES HISTORY

Florida leads the series, 30-17

Florida

Home: 16-4 | Away: 11-10 | Neutral: 3-3

 

Date

Location

W/L

Score

4/13/97

Auburn, Ala

W

3-1

4/13/97

Auburn, Ala.

L

5-2

5/10/97

Columbus, Ga.

W

7-5

4/11/98

Gainesville, Fla.

W

12-7

4/11/98

Gainesville, Fla.

W     

1-0

4/18/99

Auburn, Ala.

L

11-6

4/18/99

Auburn, Ala.

L    

10-2 (5)

4/14/00

Gainesville, Fla.

L     

2-0

4/4/01

Auburn, Ala.

L    

9-1 (6)

4/4/01

Auburn, Ala.

W   

9-3

4/5/01

Auburn, Ala.

L     

6-5

5/11/01

Chattanooga, Tenn.

L     

4-1

3/26/02

Gainesville, Fla.

L     

8-3

3/26/02

Gainesville, Fla.

L    

 3-2

3/27/02

Gainesville, Fla.

W    

8-0 (5)

5/10/02

Chattanooga, Tenn.

L   

7-1

3/4/03

Auburn, Ala.

W   

4-0

3/4/03

Auburn, Ala.

W    

9-1 (5)

3/5/03

Auburn, Ala

L     

3-0

3/30/04

Gainesville, Fla.

W    

2-1

3/30/04

Gainesville, Fla.

W    

3-0

3/31/04

Gainesville, Fla.   

W  

11-3

4/26/05

Auburn, Ala.

L     

5-3

4/26/05

Auburn, Ala.

L     

6-4

4/27/05

Auburn, Ala.

L     

6-5

3/28/06

Gainesville, Fla.

L

2-1

3/28/06

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-4 (9)

3/29/06

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-0

4/14/07

Auburn, Ala.

W

3-0

4/15/07

Auburn, Ala.

L

6-5

4/15/07

Auburn, Ala.

W

2-0

4/26/08

Gainesville, Fla.

W

3-1

4/26/08

Gainesville, Fla.

W

7-2

4/27/08

Gainesville, Fla.

W

10-1 (5)

4/1/09

Auburn, Ala.

W

3-0

4/1/09

Auburn, Ala.

W

7-1

5/7/09

Knoxville, Tenn.

W

3-0

3/17/10

Gainesville, Fla.

W

7-0

3/17/10

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-4

5/13/10

Fayetteville, Ark.

W

9-1 (5)

4/16/11

Auburn, Ala.

W

14-4

4/16/11

Auburn, Ala.

W

8-2

4/17/11

Auburn, Ala.

W

13-4 (6)

5/12/11

Oxford, Miss.

L

6-2

4/13/12

Gainesville, Fla.

W

3-2

4/14/12

Gainesville, Fla.

W

3-1

4/15/12

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-2

 

NEXT UP FOR THE GATORS

Following its weekend set with Auburn, Florida will return back to the Sunshine State and enjoy a week free of competition before hosting SEC Eastern Division rival Tennessee in the Gators’ SEC home opener at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium March 15-17. UF’s series with the Lady Vols will start an eight-game home stand for the Orange and Blue to finish out the month of March. Always a pivotal series in the SEC standings, all three Gators | Vols match-ups will air on television: Sun Sports Friday, ESPNU Saturday and FSN Sunday.

 

For live updates, box scores, stats, pictures and recaps throughout the season, be sure to visit UF on GatorZone, follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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