Credit: Gators Softball. (Twitter: @GatorsSB)

Florida Gators Softball earns top 4 national seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament

Florida Gators Softball earned a top-four national seed after reaching the SEC Tournament championship game Saturday, May 15. Earning the fourth seed, only Alabama, (3) UCLA (2) and Oklahoma (1) finished with higher seeds than the Gators. Florida will host a regional at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium from May 21-23. Baylor, (27-21) South Alabama (30-19) and South Florida (29-17) make up the remainder of the region.

A Look at the Matchup

Florida is set to face off against South Florida to open the regional Friday, May 21 at 1:50 p.m. Florida is 50-13 all-time vs South Florida with a 4-0 record against them this season. The Gators are 44-19 all-time in NCAA regionals and this is the 16th-straight season that the Gators will host to start the tournament. Under Florida Softball Coach Tim Walton Florida has hosted an NCAA Regional each season. Tim Walton has been the head coach of Florida Softball since 2006.

The winner of the Gainesville Regional will face the winner of the Athens regional (Duke, UNC Greensboro, Georgia or Western Kentucky) in the super regionals that begin May 27. This is the 13th consecutive season the Gators have earned a top-five seed and the third time that Florida has earned the No. 4 national seed.

Florida is looking to return to the Women’s College World Series after being ousted by Alabama by a score of 15-3 in the first round in 2019.  The Gators head into the NCAA Tournament with five All-SEC selections and three members named to the SEC All-Tournament team. Junior fielder Charla Echols leads the Gators in Home Runs, (14) RBI (53) and batting AVG, (.384) while junior pitcher Elizabeth Hightower leads the team in ERA, Strikeouts and Wins. The Gators have won six of their last seven games and 11 of their last 15.

The NCAA Regionals are double elimination. The Gators are 23-4 in out-of-conference play this season, looking to improve that record in order to move on to super regionals.

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