Monday April 15, 2013Florida Softball Second Baseman Kelsey Stewart Named SEC Player of the Week
Photo courtesy of ESPN
Photo courtesy of ESPN
Florida softball freshman second baseman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) picked up her second SEC Player of the Week accolade Monday following a stellar week for the Gators against USF and No. 18/19 Kentucky. Stewart’s second league recognition makes six SEC weekly honors for the UF softball squad this season.
Stewart led the No. 3/4 Gators to a 3-1 record last week, including a 9-1 mercy-rule win over Sunshine State opponent USF April 10, while Florida added its sixth SEC series win in Lexington against the Wildcats with 7-4 and 6-3 wins Friday and Sunday, respectively, to take the series. The Orange and Blue (41-5, 14-4 SEC) have now won all of their conference series thus far and the two victories over a ranked Kentucky squad elevated the Gators to 8-3 (.727) against top-25 competition this season.
Stewart batted .500 or above in all four of UF’s games in the last week of play, including a career-tying three hits vs. USF Wednesday (3-for-5), the start of a four-game hit streak. The Gator infielder chalked up a career-tying four assists twice over the weekend in UF’s two wins against Kentucky.
Stewart had the game-tying RBI against the USF Bulls last Wednesday, had Florida’s first hit and came around to score the Gators’ first run in the series-opener against Kentucky (2-for-4), had two of UF’s three hits Saturday against the Wildcats (2-for-3) and then led off the game with a single and scored for the Gators’ first hit and run in Sunday’s series clincher against UK (2-for-4).
Stewart leads Florida with 18 multiple hit games, 62 hits, a .392 batting clip, seven triples and 29 stolen bases (29-31). The first-year speedster is 13 hits away from UF’s freshman record for hits (75), while her 29 stolen bases are two shy of the Florida single-season record 31, set by former Gator All-American Michelle Moultrie in 2011.
The 2010 Kansas Softball Gatorade Player of the Year entered last week ranked first in the country with her seven triples, while checking in 14th in stolen bases per game. Conference-wise, Stewart ranks third in the SEC with her 62 hits, first with seven triples, 188 plate appearances and 158 at-bats. Her 29 stolen bases rank fourth in the league and her 31 attempts are third. Defensively, Stewart checks in fifth in fielded double plays, helping turn nine of UF’s 18 thus far in 2013.
Stewart and the Gators will next visit No. 25 FSU Wednesday, April 17, for a mid-week tilt in Tallahassee, the second game of the Sunshine Showdown between the Gators and Noles this season. The two squads met just three weeks ago in an epic showdown at UF’s Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, the Gators taking the 7-3 victory on a Briana Little walk-off grand slam in front of the largest crowd in Florida history. UF will then play host to Longwood in a weekend three-game set with a doubleheader Saturday (4/20) and the finale Sunday (4/21) to wrap up non-conference play. UF will complete the 2013 regular season with Georgia at home (4/26-28) before its conference finale at South Carolina (5/3-5/5).
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. For broadcast and television information, visit the UF softball schedule page
FLORIDA 2013 SEC ACCOLADES
Feb. 12: Kelsey Stewart, SEC Player of the Week
March 11: Briana Little, SEC Player of the Week
March 18: Lauren Haeger, co-SEC Player of the Week
March 25: Hannah Rogers, SEC Pitcher of the Week
April 1: Hannah Rogers, SEC Pitcher of the Week
April 15: Kelsey Stewart, SEC Player of the Week