UF roundup: Gators stay at No. 1


Florida's Stephanie Tofft (9) smiles after hitting a solo home run during the Gators' 2-0 win over Ole Miss at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Sunday.

Brad McClenny / Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:28 p.m.

The Florida softball team maintained its No. 1 rankings Tuesday in the national polls following a 3-1 week that saw Florida win its first SEC series against Ole Miss.

Florida (24-1, 2-1 SEC) will spend a fourth straight week atop the USA Today/NFCA poll, released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, and a fifth consecutive week at No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings, announced by the Amateur Softball Association of America.

Florida garnered 27 of 32 No. 1 votes in the USA Today/NFCA rankings to hold a 39-point lead over No. 2 Oregon. UF received 14 of 20 first-place votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, good for a 26-point edge over second-ranked Tennessee.

The Gators host Mercer for a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.

BASEBALL: Riding a season-high four-game winning streak, Florida (10-6) meets Illinois State (8-4) from the Missouri Valley Conference at 7 p.m. Wednesday at McKethan Stadium before beginning its 30-game SEC schedule this weekend at home against Arkansas (8-5).

Freshman right-hander Brett Morales (0-1, 11.74) will be making his third start of the season for the Gators against an Illinois State pitcher to be announced because the Redbirds are playing Tuesday afternoon against Bowling Green.

Florida and Illinois State have met just twice on the diamond, when the Gators took both games of a mid-week series in 2010, 8-2 and 8-0.

LACROSSE: The No. 4 Gators (7-1) host Winthrop at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before traveling to No. 3 Syracuse (6-0) for a noon match Saturday.

UF is coming off a come-from-behind 14-13 win over No. 12 Loyola and 20-4 defeat of ALC opponent Michigan last week.

Among the teams remaining on Florida's schedule, there are four teams present in both the Brine Media Poll and IWLCA Poll: No. 3/2 Syracuse, No. 7/8 Northwestern, No. 9/14 Johns Hopkins and No. 12/11 Penn State; while Ohio State ranks 20th in the IWLCA poll.

GYMNASTICS: The nation's top all-around total of the season gives senior Alaina Johnson the latest SEC Gymnast of the Week honor, the league office announced Tuesday.

Johnson's total of 39.825 versus West Virginia last Friday is the nation's top all-around performance since Georgia's Courtney Kupets turned in a 39.85 in 2009. It also sets the Florida record with Kytra Hunter (2013) and Kristen Guise (1996) sharing the previous record of 39.80.

Friday's win was her first all-around since March 16, 2012 and the sixth of her career. Johnson equaled or set her collegiate best in each event Friday, including winning vault (9.95) and uneven bars (9.975) titles. She used scores of 9.95 to take second in the balance beam and floor exercise competition.

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