UF roundup: SEC recognizes softball team’s Romanello

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Florida players welcome Danielle Romanello (not shown) at home plate after the freshman's solo home run in the sixth inning Monday gave the Gators a 3-2 lead against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. [Vasha Hunt/AL.com via AP]

After helping the sixth-ranked Florida softball team to a series win Monday at No. 15 Alabama, Danielle Romanello earned this week’s Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week.

Romanello about single-handedly lifted the Gators to the 3-2 win in the series finale against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. She hit a two-run double and a solo home run to account for both UF hits and all the RBIs.

Florida stays on the road today at No. 13 Florida State in the first game of the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown series. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start on ESPN2.

All-around: McMurtry, Chambliss up for SEC scholarship honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Track & field’s Caleb Chambliss and gymnast Alex McMurtry are Florida’s nominees for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.

The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes. The SEC will name the 2018 recipients on April 26.

Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC official sponsor, provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $20,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 26 remaining male and female finalists for the award also will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship.

The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 14 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin in early June.

Three Gators have received this scholarship: Sarah Lowe (Basketball, 2006); Matt Bonner (Basketball, 2003) and Janice Kerr (Gymnastics, 1989).

Gymnastics: NCAA Championship

Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and LSU are six of the 12 teams that will compete at the 2018 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

This marks the first time in conference history that six programs from the Southeastern Conference will compete at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

The championships, hosted by the University of Missouri, Columbia and the St. Louis Sports Commission, will be held at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri, April 20-21.

The women’s gymnastics championships consists of 12 teams and 12 all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team). The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors from each of the six regionals have advanced to the national championships. In addition, the event winners at each regional also advance to the national championships (in their specific event) if they were not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.

Team semifinal and all-around competition will be conducted in two sessions on Friday, April 20. Semifinal I will feature Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Nebraska and UCLA at Noon CT, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Semifinal II will feature California, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington at 6 p.m. CT, which will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

The top three teams from each semifinal will then advance to the finals on Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m. CT, live on ESPNU.

Three SEC programs have won 10 of the last 13 NCAA Championships and 19 NCAA titles all-time: Alabama (1988, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2011 and 2012); Florida (2013, 2014 and 2015); and Georgia (1987, 1989, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).