FOUR BITS: Florida Gators RHP Lauren Haeger wins Honda Sports Award for softball

By Adam Silverstein
June 10, 2015

1 » Already the 2015 USA Softball Player of the Year (first in program history), Most Outstanding Player from the 2015 Women’s College World Series and the 2015 SEC Pitcher of the Year, Florida Gators right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger added to her trophy case on Wednesday by being named the 2015 Honda Sport Award winner for softball. The honor makes Haeger a finalist for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2015 Honda Cup. She is the second Florida softball player to win the award (Kelsey Bruder, 2011), 18th overall Gators athlete since 1978 and second this year (Kytra Hunter, gymnastics).

Haeger, the second player (Babe Ruth) with 70+ home runs and 70+ wins on either the college (baseball, softball) or professional (MLB) level, smacked 71 homers and won 73 games over her four-year career at Florida. She finished the 2015 campaign with a 32-2 record and 1.23 ERA with 25 complete games in 35 starts and 214 strikeouts in 222.1 innings pitched.

2 » Bovada released its odds for the 2015 College World Series on Wednesday and installed No. 4 seed Gators baseball as the most likely winner of this year’s national title. Florida leads the way at 5/2 with LSU (11-4), Vanderbilt (4/1), Miami (9/2), TCU (9/1), Arkansas (10/1), Cal State-Fullerton (14/1) and Virginia (14/1) rounding out the pack. The Gators will kick off CWS play against the in-state rival Hurricanes on Saturday at 8 p.m. The game will air live nationally on ESPN. UF has never won a national title in the sport of baseball but was a runner-up in 2005 and 2011.

3 » Could former Gators offensive lineman Trenton Brown, a seventh-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, wind up starting the season for the San Francisco 49ers? That possibility became more likely last week as five-year veteran Anthony Davis decided to retire, opening up a spot on the 49ers line that Brown may fill. “Being with the first team, I definitely feel like I got to look like I’m part of the first team,” Brown, who has lined up with the starting offense for three straight weeks, told CSN Bay Area on Saturday. “I feel like I have to match what they’re doing and their tempo. That’s been a positive thing for me.” CSN reporter Matt Maiocco notes that “Brown has made the most strides of any of the team’s rookies,” getting “noticeably in better physical condition” by continuing to shed poundage from the 6-foot-8, 335-pound body that entered camp.

4 » Florida 2015 golf signee Sam Horsfield qualified Monday for the 2015 U.S. Open, draining a 20-foot putt to end a playoff and defeat Cristobal Del Solar (who just happens to play for Florida State) for the spot. Horsfield celebrated with a Gator Chomp (see below) as he got over a major hump after failing to qualify despite coming close the two seasons prior. Horsfield may be one of the youngest player in the event, but he will not be alone there. Veteran golfer Ian Poulter has see Horsfield as a protégé of sorts for years and (four years ago) called him “without [a] doubt the finest young golfer I have ever seen.” Ranked as the No. 25 amateur in the world, Horsfield has decided to skip the British Amateur in order to concentrate on the U.S. Open. He will join the Gators in the fall.

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