Florida softball in spotlight at Women's College World Series and so are the sunflowers

Shelly Darby
Gator Sports
View Comments

The Florida softball team — NCAA champions in 2014 and 2015 — is back in the national spotlight thanks to its run to the Women's College World Series. 

The Gators are known for their depth and their speed, and now their amazing comeback against higher seeded Virginia Tech in the NCAA Super Regionals. 

They are also known for wearing sunflowers in their hair during games. For UF, this isn't a fashion choice. 

Heather Braswell, 16, an honorary member of the University of Florida softball team, jokes around with players during a visit to Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium on the UF campus on Sept. 26, 2013.

The Gators wear sunflowers in their hair, usually for Saturday games, in honor of Heather Braswell. Braswell was an honorary member of the club from 2009-14 and a fixture in the UF dugout. In 2014, at age 17, she died from brain cancer.

Live score updates:Follow the Florida Gators softball team vs. Oregon State at Women's College World Series

How to watch:Here's where to follow Florida softball's Women's College World Series run on TV and streaming

Road to OKC:Next up: Women's College World Series! Gators rout Virginia Tech in NCAA Super Regional

Milestone moment:Gators' Tim Walton a king of softball, thanks to pretzel-wrapper crown and 1,000 victories

Each season, a pediatric cancer patient is made an honorary member of the UF softball team as Braswell was. 

A Gators player wears a sunflower in her hair during the championship series of the Women's College World Series against Michigan  on June 2, 2015 in Oklahoma City. The team wears sunflowers in their hair to honor Heather Braswell, an honorary team member who died of cancer in 2014.

Plus, the Gators designate a game every season as the "Yellow Game". Yellow represents the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation's work to fund research and eliminate childhood cancer. For the games, players go all out with yellow accents and sunflowers to show support for children and families who battle pediatric cancer. 

View Comments