Roundup: Softball improves to 19-1
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.
The No. 4 Florida softball team improved to 19-1 with wins Friday over Drake and Mount St. Mary's on the first day of the Gators' tournament at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Florida defeated the Bulldogs 4-3 and the Mount 8-2 in the doubleheader, the Gators' first two games of a five-game weekend homestand.
Sophomore pitcher and first baseman Lauren Haeger led UF's offensive efforts, going 3-for-7 on the day with three RBI, including a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance in game two against Mount St. Mary's.
Florida was aggressive on the base paths, swiping 12-of-13 attempts in the two games. Freshmen Kelsey Stewart, Taylore Fuller and sophomore Jessica Damico each tallied two stolen bases on the day, while six other Gators swiped one bag apiece.
Sophomore pitcher Alyssa Bache (5-0) and Haeger (6-0) both earned wins Friday. Bache won the nightcap over St. Mary's (0-7) with a career-best 12 strikeouts, while Haeger worked a complete-game for the win against Drake in the first game.
The Gators return to the diamond today for a rematch against Drake at noon, followed by a game against FAMU at 2:15 p.m. Presbyterian and Drake take the field at 9:30 a.m. in the first game of the tournament Saturday.
Women's tennis: Fourth-ranked Florida opened its SEC schedule with a 6-1 win at Missouri.
The Gators (7-1, 1-0 SEC) secured the doubles point to begin the match and then captured singles victories on courts one, two, three, five and six to earn their 37th consecutive conference win.
Senior Lauren Embree won her 24th straight singles dual match with a 6-2, 6-1 decision against Cierra Gaytan-Leach. The win was Embree's 102nd on the court after she had posted her 104th on the doubles court in the clinching match and moved into a tie with Traci Green and Zerene Reyes for 13th in UF history with a combined 206 wins. Embree also improved her singles record to 30-0 in SEC regular-season dual matches.
Junior Sofie Oyen earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rachel Stuhlmann at the No. 2 position for her 20th win of the year.
Junior Alexandra Cercone was the third Gator off the court and collected the 80th singles win of her career with the 6-2, 6-3 win over Elisha Gabb and secured the dual match victory in the first-ever meeting between the Gators and Tigers (6-2, 0-1 SEC).
Florida returns to action Sunday, when the Gators travel to College Station, Texas, to play sixth-ranked Texas A&M at 1 p.m.
Track and field: Mark Parrish and Josh Izewski closed the indoor season with solid performances in the men's 5,000 meters at the Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame.
Parrish turned in a top-five finish with his time of 14:03.07, just shy of his season's best in the event. Izewski claimed an eighth-place finish with his time of 14:15.05.
The top-16 individuals nationally in each event and top-12 relays will advance to the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 8-9, at Randal Tyson Track Center at the University of Arkansas.
The meet serves as an NCAA-sanctioned last-chance meet as participants look to earn an invitation to the NCAAs.
Senior Lanie Whittaker will get things started for the Gators today in the 400. Gator rookies Najee Glass and Arman Hall will each look to improve their times in the quarter mile as well.
Sean Obinwa, the SEC Indoor champion in the men's 800 meters, will look to improve on his season's best of 1:48.40, a time that won him his first individual SEC title last weekend and ranks 11th in the NCAA this year. Agata Strausa is hoping to improve on her mile, as she currently sits in 21st (4:38.03) heading into the weekend.
Swimming: Junior Elizabeth Beisel was named SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. This is her first conference scholar-athlete award. Also announced were the yearly awards and All-SEC teams as Florida's swimming and diving teams collected 25 All-SEC honors.