The No. 1 ranked Florida Gators (44-4, 13-4) softball team has regained its No. 1 ranking and are on a nine game winning streak as they prepare to host No. 25 ranked Texas A&M Aggies (34-14, 9-9) for a SEC weekend series.
This weekend is a special one for the Gators because it’s the last home regular season weekend of the season and the Gators will honor six seniors.
There will be a pregame ceremony on Saturday to honor Bailey Castro, Jessica Damico, Lauren Haeger, Brianna Little, Francesca Martinez and Katie Medina.
How the teams have fared in conference play:
Florida enters the series with a 12-game winning streak and after back-to-back-to-back SEC series sweeps plus a season sweep of Florida State.
The Gators also have a half game lead in the SEC over LSU as they enter play with a 13-4 record in the SEC.
Texas A&M enters play with a 9-9 SEC record but did take the final game of a 3-game series against LSU on Monday night and the Aggies are looking at a steep hill to climb in the SEC standings.
In the batter’s box:
Florida enters the series with a .307 batting average after facing a tough weekend staff against Georgia last weekend and a good pitcher in Lacy Waldrop of FSU on Wednesday.
The Gators, however, have the long ball going for them as of late as they have hit 61 home runs on the year now and went over the 300 plateau in RBI’s last weekend.
Texas A&M comes in with a .284 batting average at the plate and have hit 45 home runs but have struck out 196 times so far this season through 48 games.
A&M is a team that when it out hits its opponents they are 25-4 but when the strikeouts are happening, the Aggies are in trouble and that will be the case even more this weekend.
In the circle:
Florida’s three woman rotation has a team ERA of 1.53 but ace Lauren Haeger is steadily getting better as she has a team leading 1.15 ERA on the year.
As a staff, Florida is doing a good job of striking out hitters as the number is now 369 strike outs in 305.2 innings pitched and have walked just 70 hitters.
The Aggies have a four-man rotation that sees two pitchers pitch the majority of the games but as a staff they have a 3.20 ERA and have struck out 212 hitters in 303.2 innings pitched but have given up 33 home runs this year.
Players to watch:
Lauren Haeger broke the Gators and SEC record last week for home runs in a career, so the pressure is off of her, but the Florida Gators will rely on her pitching arm to continue the winning streak and keep her perfect 21-0 record alive. Haeger is hitting .341 at the plate so her bat is a big need as well.
Kelsey Stewart is the little engine that gets the Florida Gators going and she’s hitting a team best .436 now with 7 triples and 20 stolen bases.
For Texas A&M:
In the circle Rachel Fox must be on her game for the Aggies to keep it close and she enters the series with an 18-10 record in 34 appearances and has a 2.91ERA but has given up 12 home runs so far this year.
Tori Vidales is the power hitter for Texas A&M and coming into the series she has 15 home runs and his driven in 45 runs while hitting .349 on the year.
Florida needs to keep Brittany Clopton off of base as she’s 10-11 in stolen bases this year and has a .336 batting average and has been walked 17 times this year.
This weekend should be a fun weekend as Florida sends its seniors off plus they try to keep the winning streak so here’s the game times for the weekend.
Friday at 6:00 P.M. on ESPN3
Saturday at 1:00 P.M. on ESPN3
Saturday at 1:00 P.M. on ESPN3