The number one ranked Gator softball team lost its first game of the 2015 season in a 14-10 defeat to LSU Saturday in Gainesville. The team started its season with 28 straight wins and now LSU improves to 26-1 on the season.
Florida started the game with sophomore Delanie Gourley in the circle. After LSU hit three singles in the first inning to give them a 1-0 lead, fielding errors by the Gators and a lot more hits by the Tigers resulted in LSU putting up a nine spot to lead 9-0 after the first inning.
But Florida would rally. Junior catcher Taylore Fuller hit a three run home run to cut the lead to 9-3 and says she had a simple plate approach.
“I just tried to put some runs on the board for my team and it just turned out that I hit home runs.”
In the second inning LSU got two runners on but Gourley left them stranded to close out the inning. Gourley gave up seven hits and nine runs in the first two innings of the match up. Gator coach Tim Walton feels that LSU simply just did a good job swinging the bat and getting on base.
“I don’t know that I saw a whole lot other than they (LSU) did a good job by putting the ball in play and finding a way to get it done.”
Senior Lauren Haeger took to the mound in the third inning to keep the fight going for Florida. Both teams were scoreless in the third and Haeger held LSU at nine runs going into the fourth inning.
Walton had a nice exchange of words with the umpire as four of his players got hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. The multiple hit by pitches along with some hits from the Gators put the score at 9-5 at the bottom of the fourth.
LSU loaded the bases at the top of the fifth inning but only got scored one run before the Gators took to the batters box. Taylore Fuller got her second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, bringing the score to 10-6 heading into the sixth.
Great defense by the Gators in the sixth kept LSU from putting any more runs on the board. Once Florida got their at bat the fighting continued and the gators came out swinging.
Two singles by Kayli Kvistad and Kelsey Stewart and a walk by Kristi Merritt loaded the bases for the Gators. Taylore Fuller capped a huge day with her third homer, a grand slam, to tie the game at 10-10. Fuller tied the school record for the most home runs in a game.
Aleshia Ocasio took the mound in the seventh inning to finish the game. Three singles for the Tigers in the seventh set up a two-out grand slam that put LSU back in front at 14-10, leaving the Gators to suffer their first loss of the 2015 season.
Despite the loss, Florida’s Kelsey Stewart said the team never gave up.
“There was never a point where we thought we were going to lose, you know, to me right there that’s a moral victory.”
LSU and Florida play the rubber game of the series Sunday at noon.
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