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The Gators will learn their NCAA seed, destination and opponents on Sunday.

Thursday May 8, 2014Florida Drops 2-0 Decision to Georgia in SEC Tournament

Columbia, S.C.

The Gators will learn their NCAA seed, destination and opponents on Sunday.



The fifth-ranked University of Florida softball team fell to No. 11 Georgia, 2-0, on Thursday in an SEC Tournament quarterfinal at Carolina Softball Stadium. The Gators lost to the Bulldogs for the first time in the last four meetings, and dropped to 3-3 all-time in the teams’ postseason history.


Georgia (43-12) had a leadoff single and two additional baserunners against Lauren Haeger in the top of the first, but the lead runner was thrown out on a fielder’s choice and the junior stranded the other two Bulldogs. Florida (45-11) was retired in order in the home half.


The teams traded 1-2-3 frames in the second, with Haeger (9-2) recording her first strikeout of the game in the top half. Neither team had a baserunner in the third. The Gators’ defense made a heads-up play with an inning-ending pickoff to retire the Bulldogs after Georgia put two on with two outs in the fourth.


The Orange and Blue went down in order in the bottom of the fourth. Three singles and a Florida error in the fifth gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead and forced a pitching change for the Gators as Hannah Rogers replaced Haeger in the circle. UF had runners at the corners with two outs, but a strikeout ended the inning.


Georgia drew a two-out walk in the sixth before Florida’s senior hurler stranded the runner with a strikeout. Kirsti Merritt posted the Gators’ first hit of the day with a two-out bunt single in the bottom of the frame, and advanced to second on a throwing error. She was stranded to end the inning, and Delanie Gourley entered to pitch the seventh.


The Bulldogs had a two-out single in the seventh, but UF’s southpaw stranded the runner on a flyout. Haeger singled to lead off the bottom of the inning, but Georgia turned a double play and forced a flyout to end the game.



Head Coach Tim Walton

On how the Gators will regroup before the NCAA Tournament begins next week:

“We’ve got to play better. We need to do a better job swinging the bat, and we’ve got to play better defense.”


On Florida’s pitching during Thursday’s game:

“I thought the pitching was good enough—certainly not poor—today. I didn’t think they pitched poorly at all. They just didn’t make enough plays, and there were routine plays that we normally make. We also didn’t swing the bat very well.”



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Florida will learn its seed, destination and opponents for the NCAA Regional round when the 64-team tournament field is revealed Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNU.



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