Haeger Made Her Mark on Florida Softball

Haeger Made Her Mark on Florida Softball

OKLAHOMA CITY - Lauren Haeger made her presence felt in the 34th annual Women's College World Series in more ways than one. And because she did, the Florida Gators repeated as NCAA softball champions.

The 5-11 Haeger compiled a 4-1 pitching record in the WCWS with an eye popping 1.18 ERA and also starred on offense, batting .571 with 15 total bases, six walks and six RBI.

For the year, Haeger was the third leading hitter on the team with a.348 batting average and led in homers (19) and RBI (71). As a pitcher, she compiled a 32-2 record losing only to Tennessee and Michigan. She hurled 12 shutouts and fanned 214 batters in 222.1 innings pitched. Opponents batted only .185 against her and she finished with an ERA of 1.63.

Haeger was a double-threat all the way around and head coach Tim Walton perfectly summed up Haeger's performance. “Lauren left her mark,” Walton said of the only player in college softball history to win at least 70 games as a pitcher (73) and hit at least 70 homers (71). “She’s one of the greatest Gators that ever played and put a uniform on.”

For her career at Florida, Haeger was 73-12 from the mound with an ERA of 1.72. She struck out 531 batters in 572.1 innings and hurled 23 shutouts. She won more games this year than she did her first two years, 31-7, as she became the stopper for the Gators and it was her time to shine in the circle as well as at-bat. Offensively, she had a career.326 batting average with 243 hits including 71 homers with 260 RBI and388 total bases.

With Haeger graduating, don't worry about the Gators not being a contender once again for top honors. They have two quality pitchers in Aleshia Ocasio (18-3) and  Delanie Gourley, (10-2), who will anchor the pitching staff next year. Plus the Gators have incoming freshman Kelly Barnhill, who is rated as the No. 1 prospect in the country. Barnhill compiled a 29-5 record her senior year of high school with an ERA of 0.59, while striking out 534 batters in 224 innings.

The Gators aren't rebuilding. They are just reloading and will try for a three-peat in Oklahoma City in 2016.