Bender to Join Gators for 2023 Season

Bender to Join Gators for 2023 Season


Right-handed pitcher Samantha Bender is set to finish out her collegiate career at Florida.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Head Coach Tim Walton announced Samantha Bender as the newest addition to the University of Florida softball program Wednesday afternoon. Bender comes to the Gators as a graduate transfer and has one year of eligibility remaining.
 
“I am excited to announce the addition of Samantha Bender to the University of Florida softball program.” Walton said. “Looking forward to Sam making an impact on our program on and off the field.” 
 
Bender joins the program after she completed her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a minor in leadership studies from the University of Tennessee this past spring. In the circle, Bender has made 31 total appearances over three seasons with the Lady Vols and an additional 24 appearances during her freshman and sophomore seasons at Iona.
 
“The opportunity to be a Gator for my final year of eligibility is nothing short of a blessing.” Bender said. “I cannot thank Coach Walton and his staff enough for welcoming me to the program. I look forward to being a part of something bigger than myself both competitively and academically. Gainesville is a special place and I am excited to call it home!”
 
In addition, Bender has hurled one no-hitter during her career as the right-handed pitcher no-hit Northern Kentucky during the 2021 season. Furthermore, not only was Bender’s no-no the first of her career, but it was also the first complete-game no-hitter for Tennessee’s program in half a decade.
 

Academically, the Chambersburg, Pa. native was a 2021 & 2022 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll member, 2020 SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll member, 2021 Easton/NFCA Scholar Athlete, 2019 MAAC All-Academic Team member. Bender was also one of 13 female college graduates to receive the 2022 NCAA Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship.
 
 
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