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No. 3 Gator softball defeats in-state rival UCF in rain-shortened game.

The No. 3 Gator Softball team defeated the in-state foe UCF Knights 2-1 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The game was called due to heavy rain in the bottom of the sixth.

Freshman infielder Kelsey Stewart started things off with a lead-off walk to start the game. Stewart then swiped second base for her 28th steal of the year. Sophomore Jessica Damico then drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the first to give the Gators a 1-0 lead. After Haeger drew a one-out walk, Brianna Little walked on an illegal pitch that loaded the bases for Sophomore Jessica Damico. She then drew an RBI walk to get the Gators on the board 1-0.

The Gators scored a run in the bottom of the second inning after another illegal pitch by UCF pitcher Mackenzie Audas. As a whole, the Knights gave up 13 walks and beaned two Gator batters. Florida only managed two hits in the entire game. Sophomore Taylor Schwarz was the only other Gator to get a hit on the night besides Kelsey Stewart. Schwarz talked about the teams resiliency to win despite only having two hits.

Sophomore Alyssa Bache started the game for the Orange and Blue, pitching two scoreless innings. Sophomore Lauren Haeger came in for the third and fourth inning, surrendering only one run. Gator ace Hannah Rogers came in for the fifth and sixth inning, allowing one hit and striking out four batters to improve to 21-2 on the season. Rogers talked about her approach when coming in from the bullpen.

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Next up, Florida will host a three-game conference set against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are coming off a 3-2 win over UAB on Wednesday. MSU heads to Gainesville with an impressive 23-12 record but only 2-7 in the SEC. Gator Head Coach Tim Walton talked about MSU and what to except over the weekend.

First pitch on Friday is set for 6 p.m. from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

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