During the Gators' game against the Stetson Hatters on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Ashley Ray

Gators Softball Blasts Out Four Home Runs in Win Over Stetson

Coming off of their first series loss of the 2023 season last weekend, the Florida Gators softball team came back with a vengeance. On Wednesday night, UF took down the Stetson Hatters in six innings with an 8-0 run-rule victory. The win moved the Gators to 25-7 on the season.

Florida rode a dominant performance in the batter’s box to glory. Charla Echols, Reagan Walsh and Sarah Longley each knocked out a home run for the Gators in the first two innings. Later in the game, Skylar Wallace belted a homer of her own in the fourth inning. Walsh ended up hitting a walk-off single in the sixth inning to clinch the victory for the Gators.

The Gators hit four home runs in one of their most impressive offensive performances this season. Pal Egan and Kendra Falby both turned in a pair of stellar days at the plate, as well. Falby chipped in with three singles and an RBI. Egan knocked out a pair of doubles while securing an RBI of her own.

Lexie Delbrey got the win in the circle for Florida. Through 4.1 innings pitched, she allowed two hits, three walks and zero runs while striking out two batters. Rylee Trlicek relieved Delbrey early on in the fifth inning and finished off the Hatters. She pitched 1.2 innings without surrendering a single hit, walk or run and struck out three Hatters.

Gators Come Out Swinging Right Away

Stetson gave Delbrey a bit of a scare to start off the evening. After a groundout in their leadoff at-bat, the Hatters landed runners on the corners via a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice. Florida still managed to get out of the jam, with an impressive grab from Wallace in foul territory giving UF their third out.

In the bottom of the inning, the Gators immediately got to swinging. After Florida led off with a pair of fly outs, Echols took it upon herself to give the offense a boost. With the count at 2-0, she cracked a ball deep into the outfield. Stetson’s center fielder could not make the grab, and the ball landed just beyond the fence. Echols had just knocked out her eighth home run of the year.

Right after Echols had finished rounding the bases, Walsh decided to join in on the fun. She proceeded to blast a ball over the left-center wall for her seventh home run of the season. Florida had just picked up back-to-back homers, leading 2-0.


“I was just looking for a pitch to drive over the plate,” Walsh said. “It felt great coming off my bat right away.”

One inning later, Sarah Longley chipped in with a deep ball of her own, knocking a ball into left field that managed to just stay fair over the fence.

Meanwhile, Delbrey continued to handle the Hatters with ease in the circle. She only allowed two hits and two walks in the first three innings while keeping Stetson off of the scoreboard. Following an RBI double from Egan in the bottom of the third, Florida led 4-0.

Skylar Wallace Continues Her Sensational Season

The fourth inning proved to be more of the same, with Florida continuing their dominant day. After another scoreless inning in the circle for Delbrey, Emily Wilkie kicked off the bottom of the fourth by landing on first via a hit-by-pitch. Wallace then stepped up to the plate and did what she does best: hit the ball, and hit it hard. She blasted a two-run homer into right to give the Gators a 6-0 lead.

Wallace currently leads the Gators with nine home runs this season. When asked how she has maintained such a high level of play throughout the season, she emphasized how she always keeps herself locked in.

“[I] just control what I can control,” Wallace said. “I don’t really like to focus on what the pitcher is throwing or what she’s trying to do… I just try to focus on myself and what I can get better at.”

Gators Finish Off the Hatters For Good

After Delbrey forced a fly out to right early in the fifth inning, Florida elected to replace her in the circle with Trlicek. She picked up right where Delbrey left off, striking out the first two batters she faced.

The Gators offense finally showed some signs of slowing down in the bottom of the fifth. Despite Egan leading off the inning with a double, the subsequent batters went down 1-2-3 to give Stetson their first scoreless inning on defense of the day.

However, while the offense began to pump the brakes, the defense continued to go full throttle in the sixth inning. After Stetson landed a runner on first via a fielding error, Echols initiated a 5-4-3 double play to kill off any notions of the Hatters narrowing their deficit.

Florida wrapped things up with another burst of offense in the bottom of the sixth. After a leadoff single from Wilkie, Falby recorded her third hit of the day to drive in the Gators’ seventh run. Echols and Walsh then knocked in back-to-back singles, with the latter hit sealing the deal. Walsh’s line drive down the left field line drove in run number eight for the Gators, clinching the run-rule victory.

The Gators will be back in action this weekend, as they travel to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. They will kick off a three-game series Friday at 6 p.m. in the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

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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