Gator Softball Dominates All Day Long In Double Header

The Florida Gator softball team took care of business in their pair of games on Saturday. In their first double header of the season, the Gators routed the Boston College Eagles in a 9-0 mercy rule victory in five innings. Later in the day, UF obliterated the Illinois State Redbirds in a 21-0 blowout, also in just five innings.

The #4 Gators now move to 3-0 on the season after a dominant 11-2 victory over Boston University in their season opener. They have now outscored their opponents 41-2 in their first three games of the season. Florida has proven themselves as a true powerhouse on the diamond.

Charla Echols, Sam Roe, Kinsey Goelz and Sarah Longley each drove in two runs during Florida’s matchup with Boston College. In UF’s game against the Redbirds, Reagan Walsh blasted out two home runs and drove in a total of six runs. Olivia Gigante also hit a grand slam in her only at-bat against Illinois State.

The Gators maintained control in the circle in both of their Saturday outings as well. Elizabeth Hightower pitched a complete game against the Eagles, only allowing one hit through five innings while securing seven strikeouts. Rylee Trlicek gave up five hits to the Redbirds through four innings, but did not allow any runs to score. Gigante finished things off with three consecutive outs in the fifth inning to put Illinois State to bed.

Gators Start Strong In Game 1

Florida immediately came out of the gate swinging against the Eagles. Literally. After Hightower sat down the top of the Eagles’ order in the first inning, the Gators went 4-for-4 in their first four at-bats of the game. Echols hit a two-RBI single to give the Gators an early lead. After Walsh secured a fielder’s choice to drive in another run, Kinsey Goelz doubled into left field to extend Florida’s first inning lead to five runs.

After another hitless top of the inning for Hightower, the Gators continued rolling offensively. A pair of 2-RBI singles from Roe and Longley increased the Gators’ lead to 9-0. Florida’s offense slowed down noticeably after the second inning. They only managed to pick up one hit in their final two innings at the plate. Nevertheless, the damage had already been done.

With a fantastic outing from Hightower, UF stayed in control for the rest of the game. With three consecutive strikeouts in the top of the fifth inning, Hightower clinched the victory for the Gators in just five innings. While Hightower was done for the day following her impressive start, the Gators were just getting started.

Florida Flat-Out Dominates In Game 2

The Gators picked up right where they left off later in the day against Illinois State. Florida loaded the bases with just one out in the top of the first inning. Walsh stepped up to the plate and proceeded to knock out her first home run of the season; a grand slam, at that.

Walsh’s big hit gave UF all the early momentum that they needed. Kendra Falby and Baylee Goddard hit a pair of singles to bring home three runs. After Florida jumped out to a 7-0 first inning lead, the Redbirds never managed to muster up a response.

After a relatively quiet second inning, the Gators scored another two runs courtesy of Walsh’s second homer on the day. Kaila Pollard proceeded to bring in two runs of her own off of a double into centerfield. With an 11-0 lead entering the fifth inning, Florida already had this game under control. Nevertheless, their offense exploded for 10 runs in the fifth inning alone to extend their lead even further.

Christina Wellen and Roe scored early in the inning off of a wild pitch and a passed ball, respectively. Avery Goelz went on to score later on via a sacrifice fly. Right after Avery Goelz’s score, Skylar Wallace and Christina Wellen drove in a combined three runs off another pair of singles to give Florida a 17-0 lead. To cap it all off, Gigante blasted off a grand slam homer to extend the Gators’ lead to 21. Gigante finished things off for UF in the circle in the final inning to extend Florida’s record to 3-0.

Up Next For The Gators

Florida was originally supposed to take on USF Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. However, the game has been postponed due to forecasted inclement weather. The Gators will now instead return to the diamond on February 14 against the Jacksonville Dolphins.

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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