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Top-Ranked Gators Softball Hosts Alabama in Top-10 SEC Series‏

The top-ranked Gators softball team (29-2, 4-2 SEC) hope to fight the rising Tide when they host ninth-ranked Alabama for a weekend series. The Crimson Tide (25-4, 6-0 SEC) come into the matchup with the best record in the SEC.

The Gators come into the weekend after taking advantage of strong pitching and two towering home runs to beat Central Connecticut State 8-2 on Tuesday.

The three-game set marks Alabama’s first visit to Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium since 2011. This weekend’s series pits the reigning SEC regular-season and tournament champions (Florida) against the current SEC leaders (Alabama).

Sophomore Kelsey Stewart knows the importance of the series and the effect of home crowd support.

“We’re super excited,” Stewart said. “Going into the game knowing it will be a great crowd and environment has us very excited.”

Gators head coach Tim Walton knows the importance of a strong pitching staff coming into a series against a top team.

“We’re going to need everybody,” Walton said. “We’re going to need them all. Sometimes you need four [pitchers] in a game, sometimes you need two in a weekend; sometimes you need four in a weekend. We’ve got to keep everybody ready to go.”

Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadum, with 1 p.m. contests Saturday and Sunday.

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Senior guard Carlie Needles with teammates after a win over FSU. Courtesy of @gatorswbk via Instagram.

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