A huge crowd was in attendance Friday night to watch the number one ranked Florida softball team take on second ranked and unbeaten LSU in Gainesville.
And the fans were not disappointed.
Florida scored the winning run on a passed ball in the bottom half of the seventh inning to pull out a 4-3 to remain unbeaten on the year at 28-0 while LSU falls to 25-1.
This game went back and forth all night. UF started freshman Alicia Ocasio in the circle and she struck out the side to start the game. However, the Gators struggled offensively in the first two innings and did not score as well.
LSU scored in the third inning when Sandra Simmons singled in a run and another run scored on a Gator error but Florida struck right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Taylore Fuller was hit by a pitch to score a run and two runs scored on an error on a ball hit by Briana Little.
LSU tied the game in the seventh inning. With runners at first and second, Briana Little threw out a runner at the plate to maintain UF’s 3-2 lead. But back to back walks by UF reliever Lauren Haeger plated a Tiger run to tie the game at 3-3.
In the Gator seventh, Kelsey Stewart singled and advanced to second on a Kirstii Merritt sacrifice. On a wild pitch, Stewart advances to third and Lauren Haeger walked. Bailey Castro strikes for the second out but with Taylore Fuller up to bat Stewart scores on wild pitch to give the Gators the walk off 4-3 win.
Before Haeger came in to close out the game in the seventh inning, Gator starter Alicia Ocasio had a total of seven strikeouts and three walks in the game.
When asked if this win means anything in regards to winning the series this weekend, Gator head coach Tim Walton said it meant little.
“I don’t think this win really means anything to Saturday or Sunday. One bounce here or there and I think they (LSU) would win and one bounce here or there and we win. I think it ended up being exactly what we thought it was going to be, a very good pitching match up.I thought they were a little bit more offensively sound then we were this game. I thought our bats were a little bit unproductive. But, we got it done.”
Kelsey Stewart describes her thoughts when she saw the passed ball when she was on third base.
“It was definitely a read and reaction. Coach just told me to get ready for that wild pitch again because she had been throwing rise balls a little wild today. I was just ready for it and I read it and reacted that right way.”
The next game of the series will be Saturday at one o’clock.