Softball
Skylar Wallace scores the game winning run in the Gator softball team's 4-3 win over Missouri on Sunday. (Emma Bissell/UAA Communications)

Gators Softball Rolls Over UNF In 6-1 Victory

Coming off of an impressive showing against the Auburn Tigers last weekend, the Florida softball team continued its winning ways with a 6-1 win over the University of North Florida Ospreys on Wednesday evening. Florida got hot with the bats in the third inning and never looked back, eventually securing a 6-1 win.

UF knocked out six extra-base hits on the day, three of which came in the sixth inning. Pal Egan, Sam Roe and Sarah Longley each chipped in with a double early on in the game to build up Florida’s lead. Skylar Wallace then led off the sixth inning with a triple before Bryn Thomas and Charla Echols chipped in with a pair of doubles to put the game away.

Kendra Falby also had a strong performance for the Gators. She went 2-for-2 at the plate, finishing with two runs scored and one RBI. Reagan Walsh chipped in with a sacrifice fly and a 1-for-2 performance in the batter’s box.

Elizabeth Hightower picked up her 13th win in the circle this season. She kept the Ospreys in check all game long, only allowing two hits, one walk and zero runs in five innings. Hightower also finished with three strikeouts on the day. Lexie Delbrey and Rylee Trlicek combined to pitch the final two innings and clinch the win for Florida.

Revving Up The Offense In The Third

Hightower got to work right away against the Ospreys offense. She struck out the first two batters she faced before forcing a fly out into foul territory. North Florida responded in the bottom of the inning by only allowing a single from Falby. The Ospreys then snagged a foul out and fly out to retire the Gators.

Florida nearly managed to get on the scoreboard in the second inning. Egan sent a double into left field, but she ended up out at home on a fielder’s choice. A line out to the pitcher two at-bats later prevented UF from doing any more damage.

In the third inning, the Gators finally turned their hits into actual runs. Skylar Wallace led off with a single up the middle, while Falby followed her up with her second single of the day. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch, and Wallace scored on a sacrifice fly from Walsh. Falby went on to score one at-bat later on another wild pitch.

In Florida’s next plate appearance, Egan landed on first base via a walk. Roe then immediately drove her home with a powerful double into right center. By the end of the third inning, the Gators had jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

 

Gators Keep Their Foot On The Pedal

Florida kept hammering away at UNF throughout the evening. Longley led off the fourth inning with a double down the left field. She eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Falby. In the fifth inning, Walsh led off with a single that flew right between the shortstop and second baseman. However, she ended up stranded on base following a Florida line out, ground out and pop out.

UF tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs already on the board, Skylar Wallace belted a deep ball into center field for a triple. She then scored on a double from Bryn Thomas. Echols immediately followed her up with another double for Florida to extend the lead to 6-0.

As the Gators continued hammering away at the bats, Hightower and Delbrey kept the Ospreys off the board. Hightower only allowed one runner on base in the fifth inning via a hit-by-pitch. She then sat the subsequent batter down on strikes before forcing a fly out to center to end the inning.

Delbrey then relieved Hightower in the top of the sixth inning to put the game on ice. She retired the Ospreys 1-2-3 in inning number six. Delbrey then allowed a pair of runners on base to lead off the seventh inning, leading Florida to replace her with Trlicek.

The Ospreys started to garner some momentum at the plate in the final inning. With two runners on base, UNF’s Logan Jackson knocked in a double to score the Ospreys’ first run of the game. UNF now had two runners in scoring poisiton.

Trlicek responded by forcing a ground out and racking up two strikeouts to kill any remaining hope for the Ospreys. Ballgame. Gators win.

Up Next For The Gators

Florida will return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium this weekend for a highly anticipated series against the Georgia Bulldogs. The SEC showdown will kick off on Friday, with game one set for April 14 at 6 p.m.

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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