Gator Softball celebrates their advance to their 11th overall Women's College World Series. (Photo from Gators Softball Twitter)

SEC Coaches Pick Florida Gators Softball to Win the 2023 Season

With the softball season less than a month away, SEC Coaches have predicted Florida to win the 2023 SEC softball season. This marks the first time since 2019 that the Gators have earned this honor. Florida compiled 134 points and five first place votes, which gave them the top spot over Tennessee, who received 126 points and three first place votes.

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Last Season

The Gators aren’t new to success as they had quite a lot last year. The orange and blue finished 49-19 overall and 13-11 in conference play. Additionally, they made it all the way to the SEC Tournament semifinals, where they fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks, and the Women’s College World Series, where they fell to Oklahoma State and UCLA. The Gators found a lot of success at home, garnering a 24-11 record at home last season. They opened the 2022 season with a sweep at the USF Tournament, which included a win over top-15 ranked Michigan. Their first 2022 SEC action was a series win over Mississippi State 2-1.

A Talented Roster

The Gators weren’t tabbed number one for no reason, their roster is flowing with talent. The team had three players named to the USA Football Collegiate Player of the Year top 50 “Watch List.” Those three were redshirt junior Skylar Wallace, sophomore Kendra Falby and graduate student Charla Echols. All three return to the team from last season alongside senior Rylee Trlicek, sophomore Lexie Delbrey and fifth-year Elizabeth Hightower. Hightower was named an NFCA All-American in 2021.

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The season will officially tee off for the Gators on Friday, February 10 when they head to the USF-Rawlings invitational in Tampa, Florida, at 7 p.m. Their first SEC match won’t come for over a month until they face Missouri in a 3-game series from March 17-19.

2023 SEC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll (Via FloridaGators.com)
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

Place School Points
1. Florida (5) 134
2. Tennessee (3) 126
3. Arkansas (5) 122
4. Alabama 118
5. LSU 87
6. Georgia 85
7. Kentucky 84
8. Missouri 63
9. Auburn 61
10. Ole Miss 49
11. Mississippi State 44
12. Texas A&M 28
13. South Carolina 13

About Josiah Caswell

Class of 2026 at the University of Florida. Majoring in Journalism on the sports & media track.

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