The No. 8 Gators softball team will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to compete against UAB in a three-game series beginning Friday at Mary Bowers Field.
Turning the Page
The Gators look to shake off its 1-3 weekend at the Marry Nutter Collegiate classic in California last weekend. The team took on UCLA, UC Riverside, Oregon and Cal State Fullerton. The Bruins handed Florida its first loss of the season in just five innings, outscoring the Gators 10-0. Florida topped UC Riverside 7-0 the following day, then lost to both Oregon and Cal State Fullerton. The team played all seven innings against the Ducks, but fell 8-0, nonetheless. The game against Cal State Fullerton was more competitive. It was an eight inning nail biter, but Cal State ended the game with a two-run home run in extra innings and closed out the tournament for the Gators.
Junior Skylar Wallace has played a key role in Florida’s outstanding offense this season. Wallace’s bat alone has produced 17 runs. She leads the Gators with a .545 batting average and nine stolen bases. Treading behind Wallace is junior Avery Goelz, sophomore Kendra Falby, Sam Roe, Charla Echols and Reagan Walsh who are all batting over .350 thus far.
The Other Side
UAB finished the Green and Gold Classic, the Blazers final home tournament, 5-2 against competitors that included Butler, Cleveland State and ULM. UAB, though 10-7 on the season, is headed into the series with accolades for its athletes. Sophomore Olivia Valbak completed her first career perfect game against Butler on Sunday. Valbak led the Blazers to a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs and was named Conference USA’s Pitcher of the Week. Junior Sierra Frazier tallied five home runs last week with three coming at the Green and Gold Classic.
The Gators will take on the Blazers for the first time since 2018. From 2013-18, the two teams had played on four different occasions. Florida outscored UAB twice at home, and twice at neutral sites. The Gators have put up 19 runs total against the Blazers. The team’s largest margin of victory was 8-0 in 2016.
The series will begin Friday at 7 p.m. with games on Saturday and Sunday to follow. First pitches are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.