Nelson, Waleszonia named All-American


Published: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

The positive fallout from Florida's record-setting softball season has carried into the offseason.

Gator sophomore pitcher Stacey Nelson and sophomore second baseman Kim Waleszonia became just the second and third players to be named All-Americans in school history on Wednesday.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association named Nelson to the second-team and Waleszonia to the third-team. They join former UF pitcher Chelsey Sakizzie as the only Gators to earn All-American honors in the 11-year history of Florida softball. Sakizzie won the award in 1998.

"This is a tremendous honor for both young ladies," Gators coach Tim Walton said. "They mean so much to our team and having them recognized as All-Americans with so many other great players is an honor for our program."

Nelson went 34-14 with a 0.95 ERA this past season. She set Florida season records for wins, innings pitched, appearances and starts and tied records for saves, complete games and strikeouts.

"It is a surprise to me and I owe a lot of thanks to everyone who helped me achieve this honor," Nelson said.

Waleszonia led Florida with a .365 average and added three home runs and 29 RBIs. She set single-season school records for hits (88) and stolen bases (24).

"Obviously this is a huge honor to be selected an All-American with so many great players throughout the country," Waleszonia said. "I couldn't have done this without my teammates and their support no matter what the situation."

Florida's season ended Sunday when the Gators lost the decisive third game of the College Station Super Regional to Texas A&M. It will go down as the most successful season in UF softball history as the Gators won a school-record 50 games and played in their first Super Regional.

Contact Brandon Zimmerman at 352-374-5051 or zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

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