The Florida Gator softball team took Game Two of a weekend series against the Texas A&M Aggies this afternoon by a final score of 9 to 5.
Prior to the first pitch, Katie Seashole Pressley Stadium hosted a beautiful ceremony for the seven seniors graduating for Florida. The Gators welcomed the seniors and their families to the field and presented a video of their ground-breaking highlights throughout their college careers. Graduating seniors Lauren Haeger, Bailey Castro, Briana Little, Kathlyn Medina, Jessica Damico and Francesca Martinez were honored.
When the game started, the offensive talents started early for the Aggies when Gator starting pitcher Aleshia Ocasio gave up a home run in the top of the second inning by Celena Massey. The Aggies scored a run in the third inning on two Gator errors and an RBI hit by Cali Lanphear.
Following those two errors, a fly ball was sent Bailey Castro’s way in right field and the ball tipped off the top of her glove to give the Aggies a home run and bring the score to 4-0.
In the top of the fourth, Ashley Walters hit only her second homer of the season against new Gator pitcher Delanie Gourley to bring the score to 5-0.
The Gators bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth when lead off hitter Kirsti Merritt doubled to right field to start the momentum and Lauren Haeger followed with a two run homer to make the score 5-2. After Florida loaded the bases, Taylore Fuller came up with no one out and hit a grand slam home run into left field to give the Gators the upper hand, 6-5.
The momentum did not stop there. Kelsey Stewart singled to center and Nicole DeWitt doubled to left to continue the inning for the Gators, Kirsti Merritt followed with a double to bring home Stewart and make the score 7-5.
Florida shut down the Aggies the rest of the way and added some insurance runs on a Bailey Castro homer in the fifth and a Haeger RBI double to create the final score of 9-5.
Despite the slow offensive start for the Gators, they pulled off an amazing win in front of a great crowd in honor of the seven graduating seniors. Final game of the series against the Aggies is set for one o’clock tomorrow.
Haeger said the pregame ceremony was something she will remember always.
“It is obviously bittersweet. I can speak for all the seniors. We have had a great four years together and I love every single one of them. They honestly are your best friends for life.”
Gator coach Tim Walton managed to get all of his seniors in the game.
“I got a chance to get all the seniors in, which is very important. To see Lauren get a nice clutch home run and Bailey get a bomb it was good. It was not the way you wanted Senior Day to start, but it ended the way we wanted, that’s for sure.”
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