Ranked number one (ESPN.com/USA Softball) and number two (NFCA/USA Today) in the national polls, the University of Florida softball team (6-0, 0-0 SEC) will host the Jacksonville University Dolphins (3-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) Wednesday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.
Florida’s number one ranking in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball poll is the first time the program has been ranked in the top spot since February. 28, 2011.
In this past weekend’s USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament, the Gators ended the weekend 6-0, including one extra-inning win (Saturday vs. Michigan, 9-4, 8 innings) and one mercy-rule win (Sunday vs. Bethune-Cookman, 8-0, 5 innings). Another bright spot of the weekend involved Lauren Haeger pitching a no-hitter Sunday in the Gators’ 5-1 win against Wisconsin. The no-hitter, combined with her victory against Illinois State on Friday, earned the junior SEC Pitcher of the Week honors.
Despite coming into the matchup with a 6-0 record this season, and having won their last 11 meetings against Jacksonville, the Gators are focused on not letting up.
Yeah, we appreciate being ranked number one,” said freshman southpaw Delanie Gourley. “But we still have that focus to just work hard every day, no matter what ranking we have. We’re just taking it week-by-week.”
But at the same time, the team knows the importance and excitement that comes with every home opener.
“It’s going to be fun to open up tomorrow (Wednesday) night at home in Gainesville,” said sophomore catcher Aubree Munro. “It’s a great town, great fans; Gator Nation’s been very good to softball. So we’re excited for everyone to come out and watch us play at home.”
First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm and you can catch the game on ESPN 850 WRUF. Coverage starts at 5:50 pm.