by Tom Morgan
National Player of the Year Lauren Haeger did it all for defending champion Florida at the Women's College World Series at Oklahoma City Thursday night.
Haeger hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning and pitched a complete game one-hitter as the Gators beat Tennessee 7-2 .
Kayli Kvistad also homered as Florida avenged a loss to the Vols in the SEC tournament in their only other meeting of the season.
Haeger had a no-hitter going until Megan Geer's two-run homer in the top of the fourth trimmed Florida's lead to 3-2.
Florida added two runs in the fourth inning and tacked on two more in the sixth.
Former Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan, now the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, gave the team a firery pep talk before the game.
Florida will next face SEC rival LSU tonight. The Tigers opened with a 6-1 win over Auburn.
In other state sports news...
- The NCAA college baseball tournament gets underway today. Florida, a fourth national seed, FSU and Miami will host four-team regionals. The Gators will play Florida A and M tonight. FSU plays Mercer. UM's opener is against FIU. FAU and South Florida are other state schools in the tournament.
- Its do-or-die time for the Tampa Bay Lightning. A trip to the Stanley Cup final is at stake tonight when the Lightning visit the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Lightning won two games at Madison Square Garden in the series. Tonight's face off is at 8.
- Kentucky and Florida will play twice a season every season in the Southeastern Conference's new basketball schedule format that includes three permanent home-and-home opponents. The SEC announced the tweak to its scheduling Thursday.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars say Dante Fowler has undergone successful surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. The procedure was done Wednesday in Pensacola by Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon who is a specialist in repairing damaged ligaments for professional athletes. Fowler, the Jaguars' top pick in this year's NFL draft, will miss the entire 2015 season. He was injured on the first day of the Jaguars rookie mini-camp on May 8.