The Florida Gators softball team is set to begin the T-Mobile Tournament beginning Friday. (Photo via @GatorsSB on Twitter).

Florida Softball Rallies To The Top Once Again

The Florida Gators softball team had a doubleheader Saturday, for the second day of the T-Mobile Tournament hosted at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The team’s first matchup was against Bowling Green, who they outscored 10-7. Next, the Gators defeated the University of Connecticut Huskies 4-3 in a 7-inning nail-biter.

Game 1 Begins

The Orange & Blue controlled offensive play in the first two innings. There were five hits, four stolen bases and four RBI combined; Skylar Wallace accounted for two of those hits and two of those bags. She was the team’s first baserunner and first scorer.

Charla Echols singled to right field to score Wallace. Sam Roe then grounded out to short which scored Echols to close out the first 2-0. Kendra Falby created momentum in the second inning for the Gators to add runs to the board. She singled on a bunt and stole second on the next pitch for Wallace to execute a perfect stand-up triple to score Falby. Echols’ sacrifice fly made it 4-0 at the end of the second.

The Falcons stole the momentum from the Gators in the third inning. Bowling Green accounted for six hits and four runs. Falcon’s own Reagan Williamson put her team on the board with a 2-run RBI to Kendra Falby in center field which made it 4-2. Maycee Godbolt kept it going for the Falcons. She loaded up the bases for Peyton Dolejs to knock one more in, making it 4-3 Bowling Green. It wasn’t until Ally Bezjak went up to the plate that tied it 4-4 with another RBI to center field.

The Orange & Blue offense spoke back. The bottom half of the third started with Sam Roe who got hit by a pitch. The team scored two more due to Avery Goelz RBI to right field, which scored Roe, and Katie Kistler RBI to center field which scored Goelz. The Gators ended the third up 6-4.

Game 1 Ends

The fourth inning started with a pitching change for Florida from freshman Olivia Gigante to graduate student Samantha Bender. Though she shut down the first three Falcons up to the plate, the fifth inning was a different story. Bender gave up three runs due to a Bezjak RBI and single from Falcons Wynnie Reid who made it 7-6 going into the bottom of the fifth.

Once the Orange & Blue got back on offense, the game busted open. Echols came in clutch with a base-clearing double. She scored Falby and Wallace, making it 9-7 as the two teams headed into the sixth.

From there, the Falcons struggled to string hits together. The Gators scored one more from pinch hitter Kaila Pollard at the tail end of the sixth making the final score 10-7 Florida.

Game 2

Florida and UConn played each other one night prior to Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, where the Gators run-ruled the Huskies in five innings 9-1. However, the Huskies were the first on the board in Saturday’s matchup and gave the Gators a run for their money.

UConn kept the Gators scoreless until the third inning. The Huskies put up two against left-handed pitcher Rylee Trlicek, but Elizabeth Hightower came in to shut things down in the fourth. Down 3-0, Goelz earned herself another RBI, scoring both Echols and Walsh after their walk and single, respectively.

The Gators trailed the Huskies by one run at 3-2 until the seventh inning when Roe became the game’s hero. Skylar Wallace was walked and stole both first and second base, then Echols was intentionally walked for Roe to single to right and score both of them. The game ended with Florida on top 4-3, and Roe’s walk-off was surely an appropriate last remark at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

What’s Next

The still undefeated Gators, 8-0 on the season with six shutouts, will see the field again Sunday. The team will take on Central Michigan and Delaware State in a doubleheader to close out their debut at the T-Mobile Tournament. The first pitch is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

About Lauren Halpern

I'm an undergraduate student in the College of Journalism and Communications working towards a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. With a specialization in sports and media, my involvement in ESPN Gainesville, Reptile Report, and The University Athletic Association has given me good introductory experience in the sports media industry. I'm seeking a sports broadcasting position as a reporter where my high energy personality and passion for athletics is communicated to the public. As an athlete myself, it's important to me to work on a supportive and hard-working team. I look forward to connecting with you!

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