The top ranked Florida softball team remains unbeaten at 9-0 after beating North Carolina State 5-3 and Iowa 8-0 Saturday afternoon in Gainesville.
The victories are numbers 500 and 501 for Florida coach Tim Walton during his tenure at Florida. Senior outfielder Bailey Castro says the offense for the most part is doing what it is supposed to do.
“I think that’s a big thing for our offense, I think being able to walk, get hit by pitches, and get hits here and there, I think that’s going to prove really successful for us.”
The match up between Florida and NC State was a close game. The Wolfpack cut a Gator two run lead down to one in the sixth inning but senior Lauren Haeger had a two run single late in the sixth inning to give Florida a three run cushion.
According to Walton, Haeger “got player of the game for that hit.”
Florida Finished the NC State game strong with freshman Aleshia Ocasio going in for Delanie Gourley in the circle in the seventh inning. Ocasio ended the game with three straight strikeouts securing the win for Gourley.
The Orange and Blue kept their momentum against Iowa, jumping out front early. Bailey Castro hit a homer to left center putting the Gators up 2-0 and later catcher Aubree Munro got her first homer of the season, a three run shot, to secure the win.
Castro says getting early leads helps everyone.
“I think jumping on a team early is crucial for the pitching that way they can get a little more relaxed in the circle,” Castro said.
Lauren Haeger pitched all five innings against Iowa and even got a solo home run in the fourth inning bringing the Gator lead to 8-0. The senior finished the game with 39 strikes in 52 pitches.
Coach Walton was impressed with Haeger’s pitching performance.
“That’s as efficient of a game as Lauren Haeger has ever thrown for us, her stuff was really sharp it was really good.” Walton said. “I think she’s pitching a lot better, she has a lot better command of those pitches for sure.”
Florida will play Iowa again Sunday at noon. Special parking arrangements are in place for Gator fans attending the game on Sunday due to the annual Five Points of Life Race.
Fans are asked to park in the Harn Museum of Art parking lot by turning east onto Hull Road from 34th Street and turning into the museum lot on the right. There will be areas in the flat lot marked off for race participants and medical personnel, but an area directly to the right after entering the lot will be available for softball fans attending Sunday’s games.
Additional parking will be available in the garage located in the Performing Arts Center lot, but it is necessary to drive around the back of the garage to avoid the Five Points of Life finish line and the main medical tent.
Gator fans are advised to arrive early in order to secure a parking spot and attend their events on time. Please follow all signs and police instructions.
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