Florida softball-]]
Kendra Falby. Photo courtesy of Arnav Barpujari.

Florida Softball Looks to Defend Fifth Consecutive Bubly Invitational

The No. 8 Florida softball team will host a trio of schools — Mercer, Louisiana and Rutgers — this weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in the fifth annual Bubly Invitational.

The Gators will play back-to-back doubleheaders against Mercer and Louisiana on Friday and Saturday before they face Rutgers on Sunday.

Gators Welcome Pair of Alumni

Former Gator star Kristen Butler is Rutgers’ head coach, while Florida alumna Lindsay Fico coaches Mercer. Butler and Fico played softball at UF from 2003-06 as Butler won 2006 SEC Player of the Year. Despite never facing Rutgers, Florida is 10-0 against Mercer dating back to 2008.

The Gators are 8-5 all-time against Louisiana, but the Ragin’ Cajuns have won three of their last four meetings.

Undefeated at Home

The Gators are 15-3 overall this season and boast an undefeated home record (7-0). Florida has outscored its opponents 155-40 en route to 10 run-rule wins and eight shutout victories.

At the plate, Florida ranks fifth in the nation in team batting average (.368) and third in the country in on-base percentage (.483). The Gators are scoring 8.61 runs per game, which trails only Tennessee and Oklahoma.

Despite missing the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic due to an illness, Florida shortstop Skylar Wallace enters the weekend on a career-long 12-game hit streak. The redshirt junior ranks second in the SEC in batting average (.514), on-base percentage (.640) and RBIs per game (1.43). Wallace is one of only 10 players in the nation with four triples this year.

Wallace is perfect on the basepaths this season with 10 stolen bases on 10 attempts. She and sophomore outfielder Kendra Falby lead the Gators each with double-digit stolen bases.

Wallace and third baseman Charla Echols lead Florida with four home runs each. Echols ranks fourth in the SEC with 25 RBIs and will look to extend her five-game RBI streak. The Newnan, Georgia, native is 7-11 (.636) with seven RBIs in her past three games.

In the circle, sophomore right-hander Lexie Delbrey leads Florida with a perfect ERA and a 0.79 WHIP through four starts this year. Delbrey started against UCF Wednesday and hurled her second straight complete-game shutout. Gator right-hander Elizabeth Hightower boasts a 7-2 record in 10 appearances, while senior southpaw Rylee Trlcek is 5-1 in eight appearances.

First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m. Friday.

About Griffin Foll

Hi, my name is Griffin Foll and I am currently a senior at UF studying journalism with a focus on sports and media and an outside concentration in political science. In addition to covering the 2023 UF men's and women's golf beats, I contribute weekly web and radio content for WRUF ESPN Gainesville. Be sure to check out some of my recent articles!

Check Also

Women’s College World Series: Gators Fall Short In Semifinals

The No. 2 national seed Oklahoma Sooners eliminated the No. 4 national seed Florida Gators …