gator softball
The Florida Gators softball team huddles before contest against Bethune-Cookman. Florida won 15-7 in five innings. March 29, 2017.

Gator Softball Near the Top of Pre-Season Polls

The Women’s Softball pre-ranking polls looks a lot like how the softball season ended last year.

The 2017 reigning College Softball National Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners, were ranked No. 1 in both the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and the Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll and the Florida Gators are ranked No. 2.

In recent years, two teams have received a lot of attention in college softball. So far the same two teams, Oklahoma and Florida, have been receiving most of the attention in the upcoming 2018 season.

The Gators were just 37 points behind the No. 1 ranked Sooners in the rankings. Florida received 762 points and one first-place vote in the USA Today/NFCA poll.

Last Season Stats

The Gators and the Sooners faced off last season in the Women’s College World Series finals.

The teams had arguably one of the most exciting College World Series game. The two teams had the longest game in finals’ history in Game 1 when it ended in the 17th inning when Shay Knighten knocked a three-run homer.

Oklahoma clinched their 2017 College World Series finals after defeating the Gators 5-4 in Game 2.

The Sooners became the fourth team in College Softball to win the College World Series finals back-to-back.

This Season

Oct 22, 2016; Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA; Florida Gators starting pitcher Kelly Barnhill (11) pitches against the Florida State Seminoles during the Rising Stars showcase at Central Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Gators have lots of experience back on their team going into the 2018 season.

Florida had five selections for the preseason team this year rounding out the most for any team. Florida had three seniors in the rankings and two juniors.

  • Kayli Kvistad- Senior
  • Aleshia Ocasio- Senior
  • Nicole Dewitt- Senior
  • Kelly Barnhill- Junior
  • Amanda Lorenz- Junior

Right-handed pitcher Kelly Barnhill also received SEC Pitcher of the Year last season and received the 2017 ESPY for Best Female Collegiate Athlete.

2018 Appearance

The No. 2 ranked Florida Gator Softball team will take the field on Feb. 9 in the USF- Wilson DeMarini Tournament in Tampa with Illinois-State as their first opponent.

The Gators first SEC series matchup will be against Kentucky on March 9th in Gainesville






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