Gators Softball's Haley Pittman makes her season debut in relief of Rylee Trlicek. Pittman appeared in the sixth inning of Florida's 7-0 loss at the hands of UCF. (Photo Credit: @GatorsSB / Twitter)

UCF Blanks Gator Softball 7-0

Ahead of his team’s game against UCF, Gator softball coach Tim Walton outlined several keys to the game. Among them was pitching. In their previous match up that UCF won on a walk-off home run, Walton said the Gators’ pitching was not at its best. He aimed for Wednesday night to be a turnaround game.

That did not happen. Conversely, it was the pitching for UCF that did the job. Combine a three-hit outing for Breanna Vasquez with an early, strong lead, this game was slanted from the jump.

In the end, number 23 UCF walked out of Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium 7-0 winners, completing the season sweep over fifth ranked Florida.

UCF Scores Early and Often

Beginning the game in the circle for the Gators was Katie Chronister. The left-handed fifth-year pitcher entered the game in solid form.

But four batters, four hits and four runs later, Rylee Trlicek replaced Chronister in the circle for the Gators. The damage came courtesy of a Shannon Doherty three-run home run in the first inning. Chronister forced no outs in the four batters she faced, with the Knights jumping on anything near the zone.

Katie Chronister pitches at FSU on March 6, 2021. Chronister picked up her first loss of the season in the 7-2 outing against the Seminoles. Photo: @GatorsSB.

Trlicek would stop the bleeding, but UCF managed to bat around in the first inning.

Doherty caused more problems in the second inning with an RBI single to give UCF a 5-0 lead. Then in the following inning, Jazmine Esparza shot a ball over the left-field fence. UCF’s 7-0 lead through three innings made it clear that their win three weeks ago was no fluke.

The number 23 team in the nation pounced on a Florida pitching staff that entered the game in strong form. In fact, in their last five games on their record, the Gators conceded a total of six runs. Through three innings against the Knights, Tim Walton’s club conceded more.

Gator pitching gave up 10 hits to UCF, with Doherty accounting for three of them. Furthermore, pitching woes were not the only concern for Florida.

Breanna Vasquez Shuts Down Gators

Breanna Vasquez did not pitch for UCF when they edged the Gators in Orlando. Florida put up six hits and six runs in that game against the statistically better UCF pitchers. Vasquez came into Wednesday night’s game ranking third on UCF in terms of ERA, only starting three games.

UCF Vasquez
UCF Pitcher Breanna Vasquez dealt against the Gators. The righty struck out nine en route to a 7-0 road victory. (Photo Credit: @UCF_Softball / Twitter)

She had undoubtedly her best game of the season against the Gators.

The significant number is obviously the zero in the run column. Notably, the Gators did not put a runner on third until the sixth inning. Charla Echols reached third only after a throwing error when UCF tried to turn a double play on a Kendyl Lindaman ground ball.

Vasquez only yielded three hits to Florida batters to go along with two walks and two hit batters. Still, nothing says dominance in the circle like eight strikeouts against a team averaging less than half of that per game (3.64 SO/game). Florida’s batters could not seem to figure out Vasquez’s off-speed pitching, yielding a handful of called strikeouts. The eight strikeouts are Vasquez’s season-high.

Road Ahead

Walton called this week’s match ups his team’s toughest test of the season. UCF, despite being a top-25 team that already beat the Gators, was meant to be the easier of their two opponents.

Next up is a road series in Tuscaloosa against number three Alabama. Therefore, the road does not get any easier, and Florida has a tough task in bouncing back from this loss against UCF.

The first game in the Florida-Alabama series is scheduled for Friday night.

About Kyle Fansler

Originally from Seminole in the Tampa Bay area, Kyle is a contributor for ESPN Gainesville as well as local NPR and PBS affiliate WUFT. Kyle wants to get into sports with a lofty dream of being a sports broadcaster. He was raised playing soccer and baseball while watching hockey and football, so the knowledge about various sports is fairly extensive.

Check Also

LIVE THREAD: National Signing Day

Here’s an updated thread of all the recruits who picked the Gator hat today! RB …

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

During last weekend’s NFL Wild Card round, the Steelers made a statement by handing the Dolphins a …

Houston Looking For an Upset in Foxborough

The saying has always been “it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” and in …

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Tonight

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing each other once …

Possible Additions to McElwain’s Recruiting Class Visiting this Weekend

With National Signing Day less than three weeks away, the Gators are hosting several talented …

Florida Gymnastics Prepares for Season Opener

GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Gator gymnastics team will kick off their season this Sunday …

Surprised Gators Promote Randy Shannon To Defensive Coordinator? You Shouldn’t Be

Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the …

Quarterbacks in Spotlight for NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Wild Card kicks off Saturday and the quarterback situations could not be any more different. On …

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

Mullen Speaks Ahead of Matchup with Georgia

Ahead of the Gators matchup with the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs, Coach Dan Mullen …