NCAA Super Regional: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

Florida's Jordan Matthews hits a walk-off three-run homer to give the Gators the 5-3 win over Texas A&M in the NCAA Super Regional on May 26 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The win sent the Gators back to the Women's College World Series. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

If it’s May, Florida must be playing a NCAA Super Regional against another SEC softball team. It has happened five consecutive years and each year it has been a different team from the conference.

This weekend, it is Tennessee coming to town for the best-of-three starting at 7 p.m Friday. The winner advances to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

These Super Regionals against the SEC have seen just about everything from walk-offs to run rules. A quick look at the four consecutive:

2015 — Kentucky

Florida 2-0.

Scores: Florida 7-0; Florida 1-0.

Lauren Haeger’s legend was starting to grow as she homered in the first game and threw a two-hit shutout and won the second game to go to 28-1 on the season.

Aftermath: Florida won its second straight national title, beating three straight SEC teams in Oklahoma City before taking two of three from Michigan in the final.

2016 — Georgia

Georgia 2-0

Scores: Georgia 3-0; Georgia 3-2.

Chelsea Wilkinson shut out the Gators in the first game, but it looked like Florida would force a third game at home up 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh. Then pinch-hitter Kaylee Puailoa hit a two-out, two-run homer to dead center to suddenly end Florida’s season.

Aftermath: Georgia beast FSU in the first game of the WCWS, but lost its next two, both to SEC teams.

2017 — Alabama

Florida 2-1.

Scores: Alabama 3-0, Florida 2-0; Florida 2-1.

Alexis Osorio shut out the Gators on three hits in the opener, but Amanda Lorenz hit a two-run homer and Delanie Gourley threw a shutout to even the series. In the deciding game, Florida scored twice in the first inning and Kelly Barnhill made it hold up with 12 strikeouts.

Aftermath: Florida beat a pair of SEC teams in Oklahoma City and made the final, where the Gators lost in two to Oklahoma, losing the first game in 17 innings.

2018 —- Texas A&M

Florida 2-1.

Scores: Florida 5-4; Texas A&M 5-4; Florida 5-3.

It was a wild weekend last season. Florida trailed 4-2 before scoring three in the seventh on a Lorenz homer and a bases-loaded walk. Tori Vidales hit a three-run homer in the fifth to win the second game. In game three, Vidales hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give A&M the lead, but Jordan Matthews trumped it with a three-run homer with two out in the bottom of the inning.

Aftermath: Florida beat Georgia in its WCWS opener, but lost the next two games to UCLA and Oklahoma.

NCAA Gainesville Super Regional

(Best-of-3; x-if necessary)

Host school is home team for Game 1; visiting school is home team for Game 2; coin flip determines home team for Game 3

At Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
Florida vs. Tennessee

Friday: Florida (47-15) vs. Tennessee (42-15), 7 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday: Florida vs. Tennessee, 6 p.m., ESPN

x-Sunday: Florida vs. Tennessee, 2 p.m., ESPNU

Fans looking to purchase tickets for the 2019 Gainesville Super Regional should contact the Gator Ticket Office for more information.