By Herb Brooks, UF Sports Information
No. 7 Florida opens the regular season today at the USF-Rawlings Invitational, with a 6:45 p.m. game against familiar foe Illinois State in Tampa. UF is also slated to take on No. 17 Michigan, Fresno State, Georgia State and host USF.
This is the seventh consecutive season the Gators will open their year against the Redbirds at the invitational. Gators have found success on opening day, as the program sports a 31-5 record along with a 22-1 mark in the first game played of the season.
Aside from the competition in recent years against Illinois State, Michigan and USF during opening weekend, the Gators will also take on Fresno State for the first time since 2015 and Georgia State for only the second time in program history.
|Opponent||Record Against||Streak||Last Game||Result|
|Illinois State||14-2||Won Last 14||2/23/19||W, 10-2 (6)|
|Fresno State||3-2||Won Last 3||3/7/15||W, 4-1|
|Michigan||12-9||Won Last 5||2/9/19||W, 6-0|
|Georgia State||1-0||2/10/18||W, 11-0 (5)|
|USF||49-13||Won Last 16||4/19/19||W, 1-0|
Every game this weekend is scheduled to be broadcast on WGGG (92.1 FM/1230 AM) & WMOP (100.1 FM/900 AM).
Gators open in Top 10
Florida’s softball program enters the 2019 season ranked inside the top 10 of the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll & ESPN.com/USA Softball for the seventh consecutive season.
Walton chasing 900 wins
Tim Walton sits at 894 career victories as he enters his 18th season as a head coach. Walton only needs six wins over the next 16 games to become the second fastest coach to reach 900 NCAA Division I wins in softball history.
Mike Candrea at Arizona holds the record for the fastest to reach 900 wins as he achieved it in 17 seasons and 1,077 games. Walton holds an overall record of 894-231 with a .795 win percentage – which stands as the nation’s best among active division I coaches.
Adams tabbed Preseason All-SEC
Junior Hannah Adams secured a spot on the Preseason All-SEC Team for the first time of her career.
In 2019, Hannah Adams was selected to the SEC All-Tournament Team after she notched a .308 batting average and produced three RBI and three runs scored en route to the Gators fifth overall tournament title. Adams scored the game-tying run in the comeback victory against South Carolina and put the Gators up early with a two-run home run in the 1st inning against Auburn in the semifinal game.
The hot streak at the plate continued into NCAA postseason play as the Hoschton, Ga. native hit .346 and was tied for the team lead with nine hits, which included three doubles.
Lindaman placed on USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List
Senior Kendyl Lindaman earned a spot on the 2020 USA Softball Top 50 “Watch List” for the third time of her collegiate career.
Lindaman, a three-time NFCA All-American, produced the second highest average at the plate for the Gators and finished inside the top-10 amongst Southeastern Conference sluggers in RBI, home runs, total bases and walks last season.
Lauren Haeger & Kelly Barnhill are the only Gators to have won the prestigious award. Haeger earned the title in 2015 after leading Florida to the program’s second national championship and Barnhill secured the honor after have a historic season in 2017.
Echols, Cottrill & Trlicek look to make immediate impact
The trio of newcomers in sophomore transfer Charla Echols along with freshmen Julia Cottrill and Rylee Trlicek are set to make their Florida debut this weekend in Tampa.
This past summer the talented group contributed to the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team’s run at a third consecutive World Baseball Softball Confederation World Cup Golf Medal. Echols was also a member of the 2019 All-Big Ten Freshman Team, while Cottrill and Trlicek were PGF All-Americans and Trlicek was also named the 2019 Texas Softball Gatorade Player of the Year.