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Sunday May 5, 2013Gator Softball Wins SEC Regular-Season Title, is No. 1 Seed for 2013 SEC Softball Tournament

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 2/3 Florida softball squad clinched the regular-season Southeastern Conference Title Sunday, the fourth SEC Championship in Gator softball history, and solidified the No. 1 seed in the upcoming SEC Softball Tournament May 8-11 in Lexington, Ky. Florida will play the winner of Alabama/Texas A&M to open SEC Tournament play May 9.

 

The Gators (18-6, .750) edged out the Tennessee Lady Vols (16-6, .727) for their fourth league title in school history (1998, 2008, 2009, 2013), the third under Florida head coach Tim Walton, while also claiming the SEC Eastern Division for the sixth time (1998, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013).

 

Softball’s regular-season title Sunday marked the eighth SEC title for the Florida athletics program this year, tying a school and league record for most in a season as Florida previously accomplished the feat twice, along with Georgia once.

 

The Orange and Blue wrapped up regular-season play this weekend with a series win at South Carolina, finishing the 2013 conference slate as the only team in the league to win all eight conference sets, including sweeps over both Arkansas and Ole Miss. UF is 49-7 overall on the campaign as it heads to the postseason next week in Lexington, just one win shy of the fifth 50-win season in Florida history.

 

Florida will play the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed contest between Alabama and Texas A&M on Thursday, May 9 at 11 a.m. (ET) at John Cropp Stadium. The contest between the Gators and either Alabama | Texas A&M will be broadcast live on ESPNU, as the complete 2013 SEC Tournament will once again air on the ESPN family of networks, with the Championship Game slated to be broadcast on ESPN Saturday, May 11, at 8 p.m. ESPN’s softball crew of Beth Mowins, Holly Rowe, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza and Cara Capuano will handle coverage through the duration of the tournament. SECDigitalNetwork.com will additionally cover the tournament with exclusive online coverage behind the scenes. 

 

Tickets for the single-elimination tournament can be purchased through the Kentucky Athletic Ticket Office by visiting www.ukathletics.com.      

 

Florida is 19-23 (.452) all-time in the SEC Tournament and advanced to the SEC Tournament Championship last season for the fifth time in program history.

 

The Orange and Blue faced Alabama earlier this season, knocking off the then-No. 1 team in the land with a mid-week, non-conference 8-4 victory to kick off UF’s spring break road trip in the Heart of Dixie. Alabama leads the all-time history of the series, 30-24, including a 6-3 edge on neutral ground.

 

While Florida didn’t face SEC newcomer Texas A&M as part of its regular-season slate in 2013, the Gators and Aggies met just last season in 2012 at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs. UF opened play in California with a 6-4 victory over the Aggies at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex. UF and TAMU have met just seven times and the Gator victory Feb. 23, 2012, gave the Gators the 4-3 all-time advantage in the history of the series. Florida leads 2-1 on neutral ground.

 

Notably, Alabama won the three-game series against Texas A&M March 29-31 in College Station. The Aggies took the series opener, 3-2, at home before the Crimson Tide rebounded with 6-2 and 4-1 victories in games two and three, respectively.

 

The Gators are 11-4 (.733) against top-25 opponents, tops in the SEC, own 17 come-from-behind wins – seven in SEC play – and are 5-2 (.714) in extra-inning games in 2013. Florida owns 18 shutouts, paced by junior ace Hannah Rogers’ (Lake Wales, Fla.) nine. Florida is 9-3 versus 1-25 RPI opponents, 13-3 against opponents ranked 26-50 in the RPI rankings and 16-1 against teams 50-100 in the most recent RPI standings.

 

SEC Tournament Schedule & Bracket

SEC Tournament Central

 

2013 SEC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Wednesday, May 8

 

Game 1: #8 Alabama vs. #9 Texas A&M (ESPNU)                

4:00 p.m. ET

Game 2: #7 Kentucky vs. #10 South Carolina (ESPNU)

6:30 p.m. ET

 

 

Thursday, May 9

 

Game 3: #1 Florida vs. Winner of game 1 (#8 vs. #9) (ESPNU) 

11:00 a.m. ET

Game 4: #4 LSU vs. #5 Georgia (ESPNU)                                   

1:30 p.m. ET

Game 5: #3 Missouri vs. #6 Arkansas (ESPNU)                

4:00 p.m. ET

Game 6: #2 Tennessee vs. Winner of game 2 (#7 vs. #10) (ESPN)

7:30 p.m. ET

 

 

Friday, May 10

 

Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (ESPNU)         

3:00 p.m. ET

Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (ESPNU)    

5:30 p.m. ET

 

 

Saturday, May 11

 

Championship Game (ESPN)                                                                         

8:00 p.m. ET

 

 

REMINDER: Join Florida head coach Tim Walton for the third and final installment of The Tim Walton Show, presented by the UAA, IMG College and 105 The Game, TOMORROW EVENING, May 6, from 6-7 p.m. at Ballyhoo Grill in Gainesville. Gator fans are able to attend the show live at Ballyhoo and ask questions on air. Fans can also call 352-372-3700 to ask questions to Coach Walton during the broadcast.

 

 

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