Thursday, June 12, 2014

Florida Softball Rectifies Sports Year with National Championship

 Gainesville can finally celebrate! In its 17th season, the University of Florida’s Gator softball team has finally brought home its first National Championship in team history. The Gators went 5-0 in the Women’s College World Series and capped it off with a sweep of their SEC foe, the Alabama Crimson Tide, in the Finals.  The softball team’s National Championship serves as a happy ending for what has been a very chaotic Gator sports year full of upsets and surprises.

I asked a UF student named Will Davis, a sophomore chemical engineering major, to share his thoughts about softball’s National Championship.  His response was nothing short of thrilled.

“Softball’s first National Championship, the University of Florida's 31st, is an exciting and invigorating accomplishment since it's the first one that softball has brought home and because of the adversity Gator sports collectively has experienced this year. Football struggled, baseball was knocked out earlier than expected, and basketball, which had an excellent season all things considered, lost a heartbreaker in the Final Four. To top off a year characterized by adversity, even our success was diminished with gymnastics having to share the national title rather than being the sole champion. With all this in mind, it makes a softball championship that much sweeter since it ended a difficult year on a good note. Aside from that, it further strengthened our campaign of being known as the ‘everything school’ since it is the 13th different sport to win a national title. To put things into perspective, only one other school in Florida, UM, has more than a total of 13 National Championships in all of their sports combined.”
Seniors Hannah Rogers and Stephanie Tofft close out there Gator softball careers as National Champions.  Rogers was a freshman on the 2011 squad that lost to the Arizona State Sun Devils in the WCWS Finals.  Tofft joined the Gators during her junior year after transferring from Northern Illinois University. She felt some of Rogers’s pain as the Gators were eliminated by Texas in the 2013 WCWS.

With just one last WCWS run left for both of them, Tofft and Rogers elevated their games to completely different levels. Tofft hit .433 in the NCAA Tournament and had 11 RBI’s with just one home run.  Her lone home run was a big one though as she tied Game 2 of the WCWS Finals with an opposite field shot to left field in the bottom of the first inning.

Rogers became virtually unhittable in the postseason as she posted a 7-0 record with a 0.64 ERA on route to being named the 2014 WCWS Most Outstanding Player this postseason. She allowed just two runs the entire WCWS! In a very fitting manner, it was Rogers who recorded the last out of the game on a ground ball hit right back to her on the mound. When she made the final throw of her Gator career to first base, Hannah Rogers put three years of anguish behind her and cemented both her and Tofft’s legacy in Florida softball lore.

*All stats accredited to &

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.