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The Gators softball team celebrates its first national title Tuesday night.

Wednesday June 4, 2014Gators on Growl: Softball Team's National Title Latest in Impressive Run for UF

The Gators softball team celebrates its first national title Tuesday night.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – If it seems like the Gators just won a national championship, well, you're not losing your memory.

They did.

As Florida ace Hannah Rogers dusted off Alabama late Tuesday night to claim UF's first softball national title at the Women's College World Series, only 45 days had passed since the UF gymnastics team won its second consecutive national championship, sharing the title with Oklahoma thanks to a stirring comeback.

Gators gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn shared Florida's national-title success in a tweet Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, UF softball coach Tim Walton tried to grasp the first national title in the UF softball program's 18 seasons.

Walton knew he had a good team. But he found out how good in the NCAA Tournament as the Gators went 10-1 and outscored opponents 81-10. The fifth seed, the Gators were a perfect 5-0 in Oklahoma City after knocking off SEC rival Alabama on back-to-back nights in the championship series.

"This is kind of a surreal for me,'' he said during his postgame press conference. "We just felt good about our team. We set a goal. Most teams set goals to win every series or win the SEC or do some things. This team actually set a goal to win a national championship. This team felt like we had the parts and pieces to do it."

In the first all-SEC WCWS Championship Series, the Gators won Game 1, 5-0, Monday night behind a four-hitter from Rogers. In Game 2, Rogers earned the save in Florida's 6-3 victory. Kirsti Merritt's three-run homer in the second inning was the game's biggest moment and knocked Crimson Tide ace Jaclyn Traina from the game.

The Gators are compiling national championship trophies at an impressive rate since winning their second football national title in 2006. Florida's athletic program has won 15 national titles over that span, adding 11 since the 2009-10 sports calendar.

Florida's 15 national titles since 2006 lead the SEC, and the Gators have won multiple national titles in each of the last five years.

That's a lot of new banners and trophies around campus.

More notes regarding Florida's recent run on national titles:

  • This is the University of Florida’s 33rd national title (31 NCAA and 2 AIAW).
  • The Gators have won 24 national titles since 1992 when Jeremy Foley took over as UF's athletic director.
  • Softball is the 13th UF sport to win an NCAA or football national title, a total which stands fourth all-time among the nation’s programs and is tops among SEC programs.
  • Softball is the third Gator team in the last three seasons to win their first NCAA title (2012: men's outdoor track & field, 2013: gymnastics, 2014: softball). 
  • Florida is the 12th different team to win the NCAA softball title in the 33-year history of the event.
  • Florida ranked No. 3 on the 2014 ESPN/USA Today preseason poll.
  • Florida is the lowest seed to win the NCAA title since UCLA (also the No. 5 seed) won the 2010 WCWS.

 

Florida’s National Title Teams
SPORTYEARNATIONAL TITLES
Softball 2014 NCAA Championships
Women’s Gymnastics 2014 NCAA Championships
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field 2013 NCAA Championships
Women’s Gymnastics 2013 NCAA Championships
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field 2012 NCAA Championships
Women’s Tennis 2012 NCAA Championships
Men’s Indoor Track & Field 2012 NCAA Championships
Women’s Tennis 2011 NCAA Championships
Men’s Indoor Track & Field 2011 NCAA Championships
Women's Swimming 2010 NCAA Championships
Men’s Indoor Track & Field 2010 NCAA Championships
Football 2008 BCS/Associated Press
Men's Basketball 2007 NCAA Championships
Men's Basketball 2006 NCAA Championships
Football 2006 BCS/Associated Press
Women's Tennis 2003 NCAA Championships
Men’s Golf 2001 NCAA Championships
Women’s Tennis 1998 NCAA Championships
Soccer 1998 NCAA Championships
Women's Tennis 1996 NCAA Championships
Football 1996 Associated Press/Coaches'
Men's Golf 1993 NCAA Championships
Women's Indoor Track 1992 NCAA Championships
Women's Tennis 1992 NCAA Championships
Women's Golf 1986 NCAA Championships
Women's Golf 1985 NCAA Championships
Men's Swimming 1984 NCAA Championships
Men's Swimming 1983 NCAA Championships
Gymnastics 1982 AIAW Nationals
Women's Swimming 1982 NCAA Championships
Women's Swimming 1979 AIAW Nationals
Men's Golf 1973 NCAA Championships
Men's Golf 1968 NCAA Championships

 

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