UF's Walton SEC Coach of Year


Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.

For the fourth time in his eight-year tenure at the Florida softball program, coach Tim Walton picked up SEC Coach of the Year honors, highlighting the Gators’ All-SEC honors released Tuesday by the conference.

Five Florida players picked up All-SEC recognition following the school’s fourth league championship last weekend, including first-team All-SEC honorees Hannah Rogers (P) and Lauren Haeger (DP/UT). Freshman Kelsey Stewart earned second-team All-SEC accolades in the infield, while senior Kelsey Horton is a second-team All-SEC pick in the outfield.

Stewart and classmate Kirsti Merritt represent the Gators on the freshman All-SEC squad.

Walton, Florida’s 10th head coach to collect conference Coach of the Year honors in 2012-13, has been named SEC Coach of the Year four times. He picked up Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and 2009 following UF’s second and third SEC titles, while also garnering SEC co-Coach of the Year accolades in 2011 after the Gators won the SEC Eastern Division for the fifth time.

Walton reached career milestone win No. 500 at last year’s SEC Tournament and guided a Gator squad that was picked seventh in the preseason, fourth in the SEC Eastern Division, to the 2013 regular-season SEC championship.

Rogers, also a two-time All-American and top-25 finalist for USA Softball’s Player of the Year, garnered All-SEC distinction for the third straight year, moving from the second team in 2011 and to a first team this year. Rogers paces the SEC in wins, and turned in a conference-best 1.48 ERA through league play. Haeger, who ranked second in the league in walks and third in homers through the SEC schedule, also earned her second straight annual league honor after being named to the freshman All-SEC squad her first year as a Gator in 2012.

The Gators head to the SEC Softball Tournament on Wednesday, hosted by Kentucky in Lexington, as the No. 1 overall seed. Florida will play the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed contest between Alabama and Texas A&M on Thursday at 11 a.m. (ET) at John Cropp Stadium. The contest between the Gators and either Alabama | Texas A&M will be broadcast live on ESPNU, as the complete 2013 SEC Tournament will once again air on the ESPN family of networks, with the championship game set to be broadcast on ESPN at 8 p.m. Saturday.

2013 SEC SOFTBALL AWARDS

Player of the Year: Lauren Gibson, Tennessee

Pitcher of the Year: Chelsea Thomas, Missouri

Coach of the Year: Tim Walton, Florida

Freshmen of the Year: Bianka Bell, LSU & Geri Ann Glasco, Georgia

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jenna Marston, Missouri

First Team All-SEC

P - Chelsea Thomas, Missouri

P - Hannah Rogers, Florida

IF - Lauren Gibson, Tennessee

IF - Raven Chavanne, Tennessee

IF - Madison Shipman, Tennessee

IF - Paige Wilson, Georgia

OF - Kayla Braud, Alabama

OF - Kat Dotson, Tennessee

OF - Kaylee Puailoa, Georgia

OF - A.J. Andrews, LSU

C - Jenna Marston, Missouri

DP/U - Lauren Haeger, Florida

Second Team All-SEC

P - Rachele Fico, LSU

P - Kimmy Beasley, Arkansas

IF - Samie Garcia, South Carolina

IF - Kelsey Stewart, Florida

IF - Bianka Bell, LSU

IF - Kaila Hunt, Alabama

OF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama

OF - Kelsey Horton, Florida

OF - Branndi Melero, Auburn

OF - Jacee Blades, LSU

C - Griffin Joiner, Kentucky

DP/U - Mel Dumezich, Texas A&M

Freshman All-SEC

P - Kelsey Nunley, Kentucky

P - Chelsea Wilkinson, Georgia

IF - Kelsey Stewart, Florida

IF - Bianka Bell, LSU

IF - Geri Ann Glasco, Georgia

IF - Emily Carosone, Auburn

OF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama

OF - Kaylee Puailoa, Georgia

OF – Kirsti Merritt, Florida

OF - Andrea Hawkins, Alabama; Tiffany Howard, Auburn

C - Kellsi Kloss, LSU

DP/U - Cali Lanphear, Texas A&M

SEC All-Defensive

P - Chelsea Thomas, Missouri

C - Griffin Joiner, Kentucky

1B - Morgan Estell, Auburn

2B - Lauren Gibson, Tennessee

SS - Madison Shipman, Tennessee

3B - Raven Chavanne, Tennessee

LF - Kayla Braud, Alabama

CF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama

RF - Kat Dotson, Tennessee

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