Gators Repeat as National Softball Champions

The Florida Gators (60-7) softball program became just the third program in NCAA history to win back-to-back national titles, downing the Michigan Wolverines (60-8) in the final of a three game series 4-1 in front of a capacity crowd in Oklahoma City and national television audience on ESPN.

Twelve different teams have been crowned national champions in the 34 years of the Women’s College World Series (WCWS). Florida joins Arizona and UCLA as the three teams that have won titles in consecutive years.

Lauren Haeger was the overall star again tonight. The National Player of the Year Threw four hitless and scoreless innings before surrendering three hits and a run in the top of the fifth. That was the only run Haeger (32-2) allowed as she tossed a total of six scoreless innings and allowed just five hits in the game with five strikeouts.

Michigan’s Haylie Wagner really frustrated Florida’s batters in game two of the series. The 1-0 complete game from Wagner was the only shutout of Florida all season. Wagner started game three, but struggled early, giving up four runs in the first two innings before being pulled. She would eventually return late in the game but to no avail.

Haeger, showing off her Player of the year status also hit an RBI single in the that first inning off od Wagner and scored at the plate after advancing. Those two runs would have been enough to win the game, but the Gators got the four in the first two innings to give Haeger all the runs she needed to rare back and go after the Wolverines. Haegers RBI was her 71st of the season, a new career.

Haeger is the only player in the history of collegiate softball to notch both 60+ home runs and 60+ wins. She has 71 home runs and 73 wins in her career. She finished the WCWS with a team leading seven RBI to go with her 4-1 record.

Michigan came into the series with a 28 game winning streak of which the Gators put to a grinding stop. The gators finished 4-1 on the year against the national runner ups having swept them 2-0 in the regular season.

Florida’s 60 wins is the third highest in team history behind the 70 wins in 2008 and 63 wins in 2009. The Gators are now 22-12 all time in the WCWS and 69-33 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

2015 marked the fourth time in the last seven years of the WCWS Championship Series that Florida has been a part of the final pairings. They have now split those series. Florida was ranked number one coming into the season and are the first team to begin the year and end the year as champion since Arizona in 2007.

Florida head coach Tim Walton is now 64-21 in NCAA play and 22-12 in the WCWS.

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