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Gator Softball Falls in rubber match 7-0 as Alabama takes series

For just the third time dating all the way back to the beginning of the 2012 season the Florida Gator softball team found itself losers in a three game series. After falling to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday night 4-2, and prevailing 7-1 Saturday afternoon, the Gators were unable to close it out on Sunday, losing 7-0 to Alabama.

With the hopes of repeating her success from Friday night, Bama turned to senior pitcher Jaclyn Traina on Sunday. On Friday night, Traina threw a complete game, allowing just two hits and giving up just two runs. On Sunday Traina was even better throwing yet another complete game, but this time a shutout recording four strikeouts.

Traina didn’t just produce in the circle; she produced at the plate as well. Traina touched base in three of her four at-bats and even scored a run. But overall, her dominance came in the circle and Gator senior third baseman Stephanie Tofft talked about what made her so dominant over the weekend.

“She’s a good pitcher, she throws hard and I think we just had trouble making adjustments in the box,” Tofft said.

Florida had a lot of negatives on Sunday but the biggest had to be their production at the plate. Gator coach Tim Walton said after Saturday’s win he wanted to see the bats get hot early, but it would not happen Sunday.   Alabama on the other hand made a statement right from the get-go.

After her complete game performance Saturday afternoon the Gators turned to senior Hannah Rogers; however Rogers could not repeat that success and Bama was able to run her out of the circle fairly early. Bama began the game with four straight hits. The biggest coming from sophomore Leona Lafaele who hit a three-run home run that sailed over the scoreboard. The Gators found themselves down 3-0 within a 10 minute span and they  never could recover.  

Rogers threw just two innings on Sunday giving up three runs on six hits; with the loss her record now stands at 13-3. Freshman Delanie Gourley was able to finish out the last five innings but gave up three hits and a couple of runs as well.

If the struggles in the circle and at the plate weren’t enough, the Gators had some troubles in the field as well. Gourley and Tofft both had throwing errors on routine ground balls that led to a couple insurance runs for Bama.  

With the loss the Gators drop to 30-4 on the season and Walton talked about where his team goes from here.

“We’re 30-4; I think we know how to win some games, so it’s not a regrouping process. It’s the first series we have lost in a while and we need to make some improvements in a lot of different areas but it’s not a panic time for sure.”

Up next for the Gators will be a make-up game against UCF on Wednesday in Orlando, followed by a weekend series in Knoxville against the top five ranked Tennessee Volunteers.

To hear post-game comments from Gators head coach Tim Walton and senior Stephanie Tofft click on the links below:  

Walton talks about trailing early

Walton talks about where the team goes from here

Tofft talks about facing Bama’s Jaclyn Traina

Tofft says they will improve at the plate at all costs


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