UF Roundup: No. 3 Gators take on top-ranked FSU
During its 37-2 run through its schedule, the Florida softball team has been an impressive 14-1 against teams ranked in the Top 25, including pitching eight shutouts.
The No. 3 Gators get another shot at a ranked foe at 7 p.m. today, this time against top-ranked Florida State at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
The Seminoles enter with a 38-1-1 record and have pitching aces of their own, Jessica Burroughs (20-1, 0.60 ERA) and Meghan King (17-0, 1.50 ERA). Florida will counter with either Kelly Barnhill (15-0, and nation best 0.22 ERA), Delanie Gourley (13-2, 0.83) or Aleshia Ocasio (7-0, 0.84). Barnhill earned her second SEC Pitcher of the Week award of the season Tuesday.
“If you have an opportunity to sweep somebody you have to take full advantage in this league because it’s a tough thing to do," UF coach Tim Walton said after Monday's 3-0 win in sweeping No. 18 Georgia. "I look around the league all the time and nobody is sweeping anybody because of just how talented the coaches are and how talented the pitching staffs are on every team. So, give our kids credit. I thought our players did a good job, we weren’t our best offensively but I thought we were really good pitching wise this week and that credited to the wins.”
The Gators have won 16 of the last 17 games against the Seminoles.
Florida hosts Villanova
in Big East tussle
The Florida lacrosse team will host Villanova at 1 p.m. today. Florida and Villanova will be meeting for the fourth time, with the Gators holding a 3-0 advantage in the series. Last season, a five-point performance from Shayna Pirreca led Florida to a 14-4 win at Villanova (3-9, 1-4).
No. 3 Florida (11-2, 5-0 Big East) has been dominant in Big East play, winning its first five contests by 58 goals. Attackers Lindsey Ronbeck, the Big East Attacker of the Week, and Mollie Stevens have each compiled 24 points to lead the Gators, while senior defender Caroline Fitzgerald, the Big East Defensive Player of the Week, has eight caused turnovers and nine ground balls. Sophomore goalkeeper Haley Hicklen has anchored Florida's defense with 38 saves and a .603 save percentage in conference games.
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