The Florida Gator softball team (43-4) is back at the top spot of the NFCA poll where they were to start the season. Florida’s 11-game winning streak is their second longest of the season and they put that on the line against the 10th ranked Florida State Seminoles (37-11) on Wednesday.
The Gators defeated the Seminoles earlier in the month in their first meeting, 5-1. Florida owns a perfect 30-0 non-conference record and head coach Tim Walton knows how important the rivalry game is.
“It’s always a great game. It’s always a great rivalry. I would agree probably both teams try to do everything in their power to win without sacrificing what we have to do in our league as well.”
Pitcher Lauren Haeger led the way for Florida in their game against Florida State in Tallahassee. The senior pitched a complete game, only allowing one run and mowing down seven Seminole batters. Bailey Castro belted a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Gators the lead and no errors occurred while on defense. Walton credits the versatility of his lineup for the win against the ‘Noles.
“I think for the most part we were able to hit up and down our lineup and turn the lineup over a bunch of times.”
Florida State is 4-1 since dropping the game at home against Florida. They have gotten a lot of recent success from pitcher Lacey Waldrop, who was awarded with the ACC Player of the Week honors. She is 24-5 on the year with a 1.25 ERA, and a whopping 196 strikeouts. The Seminole offense is led by Morgan Klaevemann who is hitting close to .400 on the year with a .503 on-base percentage.
After losing the game on Sunday due to inclement weather, Walton has not ruled out the possibility of putting in all three of his pitchers on Wednesday.
“We can easily throw Lauren, we can easily throw Aleshia, we can easily throw Delanie. Or we can try to throw all of them and get them a little bit of work before the weekend.”
The Gators lead the all-time series against the Seminoles 20-14, including 12 of the last 13 meetings. Under Tim Walton, Florida is 14-3 against their in-state rival. First pitch is at 7 p.m.
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