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    Gators pitcher Lauren Haeger enjoys a night off from the circle. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Super Regional bound
are the Florida Gators

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Written by Andrew Spivey, May 17, 2015, 0 Comments,
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Special to GC

Gainesville, Fla. – The No. 1-seeded University of Florida softball team advanced to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 (eight innings) victory over Florida Atlantic in the final of the Gainesville Regional. The Gators (53-6) outhit the Owls 4-2 as senior Lauren Haeger (26-1) pitched a two-hit shutout and allowed just two second-inning singles, while walking two batters and striking out five.

Haeger and FAU pitcher Amanda Wilson (8-5) traded zeros for seven innings until Haeger herself broke through for Florida (53-6) in the eighth for the game’s only run. The senior lined a double to right-center and Kirsti Merritt raced home from first after reaching on a fielder’s choice.

STARS OF THE GAME

  • Lauren Haeger: The right-hander allowed five hits over 15 shutout innings with 13 strikeouts to earn two wins during the Regional.
  • Kirsti Merritt: Florida’s second-leading scorer with 45 runs on the year, the Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., native scored the only run of the game.
  • Nicole DeWitt: The freshman led the Gators with a .556 (5×9) batting average and a .636 on-base percentage on the weekend, and was one of two UF players to score twice (Merritt – 3).

NOTABLES

  • Florida advanced to a Super Regional for eighth time in nine seasons.
  • The Gators have thrown seven consecutive shutouts in NCAA Regionals dating back to May 19, 2013.
  • The Orange and Blue have held Regional opponents scoreless for 51 consecutive innings dating back to Game 2 of the 2013 Regional against USF.
  • This is the third time the Gators have thrown three straight shutouts in a Regional (also: 2007, 2014).
  • Since 2014, the Gators have recorded 11 postseason shutouts (2014 Regional – 3, 2014 Super Regional – 2, 2014 WCWS – 3, 2015 Regional – 3).
    • Haeger has thrown three of those 11 shutouts, including both Regional finals.
  • UF is now 2-1 in extra innings this season.
  • Kelsey Stewart and DeWitt tied for team lead with 5 hits during the Regional.
  • Haeger had three RBI during the Regional, tying her with Stewart for second on the team (Fuller – 4).
  • Florida hurlers allowed just six hits over 22.0 innings with 30 strikeouts in the Regional, including a school-record-tying 17 from Aleshia Ocasio on Friday against Florida A&M.
  • Sunday marked the first time this season a Gator pitcher worked more than 7.0 innings (last: Hannah Rogers, 8.0, 4/6/14 vs. Auburn).

UP NEXT
Florida will host Kentucky in a Super Regional next weekend. Dates, times and television information are to be determined. Florida Sports Talk will have the radio broadcast with Adam Schick (play-by-play) and former Gator All-American Megan Bush (analysis) as the announce team. In addition, live stats will be available through GameTracker on the schedule page of GatorZone.com.

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

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Special to GC

Gainesville, Fla. – The No. 1-seeded University of Florida softball team advanced to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 (eight innings) victory over Florida Atlantic in the final of the Gainesville Regional. The Gators (53-6) outhit the Owls 4-2 as senior Lauren Haeger (26-1) pitched a two-hit shutout and allowed just two second-inning singles, while walking two batters and striking out five.

Haeger and FAU pitcher Amanda Wilson (8-5) traded zeros for seven innings until Haeger herself broke through for Florida (53-6) in the eighth for the game’s only run. The senior lined a double to right-center and Kirsti Merritt raced home from first after reaching on a fielder’s choice.

STARS OF THE GAME

  • Lauren Haeger: The right-hander allowed five hits over 15 shutout innings with 13 strikeouts to earn two wins during the Regional.
  • Kirsti Merritt: Florida’s second-leading scorer with 45 runs on the year, the Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., native scored the only run of the game.
  • Nicole DeWitt: The freshman led the Gators with a .556 (5×9) batting average and a .636 on-base percentage on the weekend, and was one of two UF players to score twice (Merritt – 3).

NOTABLES

  • Florida advanced to a Super Regional for eighth time in nine seasons.
  • The Gators have thrown seven consecutive shutouts in NCAA Regionals dating back to May 19, 2013.
  • The Orange and Blue have held Regional opponents scoreless for 51 consecutive innings dating back to Game 2 of the 2013 Regional against USF.
  • This is the third time the Gators have thrown three straight shutouts in a Regional (also: 2007, 2014).
  • Since 2014, the Gators have recorded 11 postseason shutouts (2014 Regional – 3, 2014 Super Regional – 2, 2014 WCWS – 3, 2015 Regional – 3).
    • Haeger has thrown three of those 11 shutouts, including both Regional finals.
  • UF is now 2-1 in extra innings this season.
  • Kelsey Stewart and DeWitt tied for team lead with 5 hits during the Regional.
  • Haeger had three RBI during the Regional, tying her with Stewart for second on the team (Fuller – 4).
  • Florida hurlers allowed just six hits over 22.0 innings with 30 strikeouts in the Regional, including a school-record-tying 17 from Aleshia Ocasio on Friday against Florida A&M.
  • Sunday marked the first time this season a Gator pitcher worked more than 7.0 innings (last: Hannah Rogers, 8.0, 4/6/14 vs. Auburn).

UP NEXT
Florida will host Kentucky in a Super Regional next weekend. Dates, times and television information are to be determined. Florida Sports Talk will have the radio broadcast with Adam Schick (play-by-play) and former Gator All-American Megan Bush (analysis) as the announce team. In addition, live stats will be available through GameTracker on the schedule page of GatorZone.com.

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