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Florida Gators Athletics Round-Up

Softball

Over the weekend, the Gator (44-15) Softball team won the 2019 SEC Tournament. This helped them earn the No. 5 national seed for the NCAA Tournament. The Gators were able to rally past Alabama to take the crown in College Station.

The Gators were led by seniors Kelly Barnhill and Amanda Lorenz. Barnhill allowed just two hits from the Crimson Tide and Lorenz got a two-out, two-RBI double in the sixth.

The Gators will host a regional that also features Stanford (32-18), Boise State (34-14) and Boston University (37-18). The first games of the regional will take place this Friday. Boise State will take on Stanford Friday at 12:00, and the Gators will take on Boston University Friday at 2:30.

Men’s Tennis

The Gator men’s tennis team defeated Tennessee 4-2 on Saturday to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Gators will take on the Baylor Bears this Thursday in Lake Nona, Fla.

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Duarte Vale really helped bring the Gators this tournament win. After going down 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5, tied the match and sent it to a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Vale jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak, but Preston Touliatos rallied and Tennessee tied it once again at 6 all.

The two held serve until Vale went up 9-8. Touliatos’ serve return went just long. Vale has now won 13 straight matches and improved to 15-1 on the season. He has also clinched two of the Gators three matches in the NCAA Tournament.

Men’s Golf

The Gator men’s golf team continue their post-season journey this week in Pullman, Washington, for NCAA Regionals. Florida is coming off a short run at the SEC Championships two weeks ago, after finishing in a tie for 11th during the stroke play portion. Florida has multiple players with post-season experience including sophomores John Axelsen and Chris Nido and senior Gordon Neale.

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Florida won their 2018 regional in record-breaking fashion with a 42-under-par final score of 822. Nido finished in second place with Axelsen close behind at T6. The Gators hope to come out with similar successes at this year’s regional competition.

Lacrosse

The Gator lacrosse team’s season came to a close over the weekend. They fell to No. 3 North Carolina 15-11 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Sydney Pirreca led the Gator offense with five goals, followed by Caroline Benitez and Shannon Kavanagh who both had two goals apiece.

The Gators won 13 draws led by four from Ronbeck. Sabrina Cristodero and Brianna Harris each pitched in three draw controls as well. Haley Hicklen posted seven saves on the day, finishing her career with 49 wins,  the second-best mark in program history.

The Gators ended the season with an overall record of 14-7 and 5-0 in the conference. They also earned an AAC regular-season championship as well as an AAC tournament championship.

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Track and Field

On the final day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships Florida won three individual titles. Overall, the men’s team finished second and the women’s team finished tied for fifth.

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Sophomore Hakim Sani Brown gave the Gators their second title of the weekend on the men’s side, as he and teammate Raymond Ekevwo combined for a 1-2 finish in a stellar 100 meters final. Senior Yanis David and freshman Imogen Barrett captured individual titles to lead Florida’s women, giving the Gators five individual championships for the meet – which marked the program’s highest total since winning six in 2012.

Baseball

The Gator baseball team dropped their final home series after a huge comeback win Friday night. Tennessee used a four-run seventh inning to come back and defeat the Gators 5-4. The Gators will head into their last series this week at Missouri.

Back-to-back home runs from Brady McConnell and Austin Langworthy put Florida ahead 4-1 in the fifth inning. In the seventh, the Vols tied the game on a three-run homer from Ricky Martinez. An RBI groundout scored Connor Pavolony and proved to be the winning run.

Last week freshman Nick Pogue started two games and pitched 10.1 innings this week with just one run allowed on three hits. He entered last week with a 5.28 earned run average and lowered it to 3.51. Brady McConnell’s home run gave him 15 on the season. He now holds the record for most home runs by a Florida shortstop in a single season.

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