Florida wins its fourth consecutive SEC regular-season title

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FILE — Amanda Lorenz gives Florida's #8 Aleshia Ocasio a tap on the head after Ocasio scored a run. [Cyndi Chambers/Corresponde­nt/Gainesville Sun]

Special to Gatorsports.com

COLUMBIA, Missouri — No. 4 Florida defeated Missouri 4-2 on Friday to win its fourth consecutive SEC regular season softball title. It’s the eighth overall regular season league title for the program.

“It’s a great accomplishment for all the great players we have had in our program,” UF coach Tim Walton said. “We recruit some great ones.

“Preparation and at times it comes down to will. The players have a buy in on who they are. Be consistent. The focus has been on our strength and weaknesses.”

Florida (45-8, 18-4 SEC) jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning following Kayli Kvistad’s two-run single.

Missouri (28-25, 6-15) cut the deficit with a home run in the second inning.

The Gators stretched their advantage to 4-1 with two runs in the sixth on solo home runs from Kvistad and Janell Wheaton.

Missouri hit a solo homer in the sixth to settle the final margin at 4-2.

Kelly Barnhill (25-1) allowed four hits, including the two home runs, and struck out four.

The Gators are only the second program in conference history to have captured four consecutive regular season titles. LSU accomplished the feat with championships in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

“It says a lot about the way they prepare, how they take care of each other and just how consistent we’ve played all season long,” Walton said. “It was a happy moment for me to watch our players celebrate after we won to clinch the regular season championship.”

Florida goes for the series win at 3 p.m. today. The game will be air on the SEC Network.

6 COMMENTS

  1. The Gator woman’s softball team is a juggernaut. They are, in my opinion, the best team in school history. Better than men’s football and basketball. They are the most consistent team year in and year out. They play harder, play better, recruit the best players and they win more games, more titles and get better overall results than any other team. Go girls you are a joy to watch.

  2. It all starts at the top. Tim Walton has molded this program into a perennial power. I don’t know what they pay him but in my opinion he deserves to be the highest paid coach in college softball. He is obviously a great recruiter because he pulls in the best talent from around the country. It has got to be hard to convince young ladies from California to come all the way to Florida when they could be playing closer to home for PAC 12 teams. He is also a great developer of talent. You can see that in the players. He also has a great coaching staff starting with his pitching coach Jen Rocha who could easily be a head coach anywhere she wanted. Of course a lot of the credit also has to go to the players for their dedication and hard work. All in all it is just a great program that develops and creates great players and student athletes that show a tremendous amount of class.