Elizabeth Hightower winds up a pitch in the Gators' exhibition against USA Softball. (Photo courtesy / @GatorsSB Twitter)

Gators Take Game 2 to Tie the Series at South Carolina

The Florida Gators softball team topped the South Carolina Gamecocks 8-1 Saturday evening. Elizabeth Hightower did the job in the circle, and her offense picked her up.

Florida Rebounds

After a close game the night before that did not go Florida’s way, the team showed up with a bone to pick. The first inning consisted of a pair of back-to-back home runs from Reagan Walsh and Pal Egan. Walsh went yard deep over the left field wall to score Charla Echols, who doubled on the previous play. Walsh put the Gators on the board 2-0. Egan came up to the plate next and launched the ball over the right-field wall, adding to the lead. Florida held on to its 3-0 lead until the fourth.


The Gators went up against the Gamecock’s Jori Heard, the team’s second time facing her. Egan started the fourth inning and reached on a hit-by-pitch play. Next, Sam Roe came in clutch with an intended sacrifice bunt. Heard’s throw to first base was wild, and Roe was able to take second while Egan advanced to third. Then, Sarah Longley did her job and executed a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Egan and making it 4-0.

Avery Goelz racked up a hit when she beat out a ground ball hit hard to the middle infield. After that, Katie Kistler loaded the bases with a single up the middle. South Carolina put Leah Powell in the circle in hopes of shutting down the inning. The Gators didn’t quit, though. Skylar Wallace earned herself an RBI single, scoring Roe to make it 5-0. With the bases still juiced, Kendra Falby watches four balls go by to push Goelz across the plate for another run. Florida kept the Gamecocks scoreless until the fifth.

A Push To The Finish

The only run South Carolina could put on the board was from a fielder’s choice play late in the fifth inning. Brooke Blankenship was able to put one in play off of standout Gator pitcher Elizabeth Hightower. Wallace fielded the ball off the ground and got the force out at third base, allowing Marissa Gonzalez to score, who reached on a single earlier in the inning. The fifth inning ended 6-1 Florida.

The Wallace and Falby duo went to work again in the top of the sixth. Wallace hit a standup triple to right center field for Falby to score her with an RBI up the middle. The Gators held the Gamecocks with their 7-1 lead.

Florida put up another run in its final offensive showing of the competition. Longley launched a sacrifice fly to score Walsh, who reached with a lucky infield fly in no-man’s land. Walsh’s hit marked the eleventh of the game for the Gators.

All in all, Hightower earned another career win and the Gators tied the series 1-1. Game three is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Beckham Field.

About Lauren Halpern

Currently an undergraduate student at UF in the College of Journalism and Communications towards a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Studying sports media with involvement in ESPN Gainesville, The University Athletic Association, and the Gamma Iota Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. Seeking a sports media/broadcasting position where her passion for athletics, bubbly personality and drive to communicate will support and improve the portrayal of news to the public.

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