Tennessee Softball
Florida vs Georiga Photo by JashariBlige

Gator Softball Swept by Tennessee

The Gator softball team fell to the Tennessee Volunteers Monday night 10-6 in Knoxville. This completed a three-game series sweep of Florida by Tennessee.

Skylar Wallace continued her stellar play at the plate, going 2-4 with a three-run home run. Charla Echols also played well as she went 2-4 with two RBIs. Rylee Trlicek was charged with loss out of the bullpen as she gave up five earned runs in 2.1 innings in the circle. She is now 11-3 this year.

Payton Gottshall got the victory for Tennessee as she threw six innings in relief, giving up just three hits and one run, striking out five Gator batters. This was her second win of the series and improved her record to 11-0 on the season.

With the loss, Florida falls to 32-14 overall and to just 8-10 in the SEC. With their eighth straight victory, the Lady Vols improved to 38-5, and 16-2 in conference play.

High Scoring First Two Innings

The first three Gators got on base to begin the game. Wallace and Kendra Falby reached on infield singles to lead off the inning. Florida’s RBI leader, Echols, then bounced one into center field to drive home Wallace for the opening run of the game. Tennessee starter Karlyn Pickens, who also started Sunday’s game, bounced back well as she allowed just one run in the inning.

Kiki Milloy set the table in the bottom half with a leadoff single to left field. Two batters later, McKenna Gibson tied the game up with an RBI-single that was driven to the right-center wall. Gator starter Lexie Delbrey did well to give up only one as she struck out Rylie West to end the first with the game tied 1-1.

Emily Wilkie began the second inning with a bang. She blasted a leadoff home run to right field to give Florida back the lead. The next two batters reached base, which turned the lineup over to Wallace. She continued her dominance as she drove one to the parking lot in right field for her third homer of the series. This extended the Gator lead to four. Gottshall came in to relieve Pickens and got three straight outs to end the inning.


In the bottom of the second, the Lady Vols loaded the bases with two outs. Lair Beautae bounced a single up the middle that drove home two runs to cut the Tennessee deficit to 5-3. Zaida Puni drew a bases loaded walk to bring home another run. At the end of two, the Gators were up 5-4.

Tennessee Gets Ahead

Pal Egan led off the third with a line-drive double to left-center. Gottshall worked around the leadoff extra-base hit, though, as she allowed no runs in the inning.

After getting the first two batters out in the bottom of the third, Delbrey gave up back-to-back two-out walks. This drove her out of the game as Trlicek came in to replace her. She got out of the jam to hold onto the 5-4 Gator lead.

In the top half of the fourth, Wallace gave another one a ride, but it was caught at the wall in left. Gottshall set down the Gators one-two-three in the inning. This was the second straight scoreless inning for the Tennessee pitcher.

After a strikeout of the first batter in the bottom of the fourth, Trlicek allowed three straight singles. With the bases loaded, Mackenzie Donihoo dribbled one under the glove of Reagan Walsh at second as two scored on the error. Jamison Brockenbrough then had an infield hit to score another. Tennessee scored three in the inning to take a 7-5 lead.

The Gators responded well as Echols led off the inning with a long ball to straightaway center that cut the lead to one. One run is all Florida would get in the inning as they trailed 7-6 going into the bottom of the fifth.


Lady Vols Close Out the Sweep

In the bottom half, West came up to the plate with runners on second and third and one out. She lined one over the fence in center field for a three-run homer to extend the Tennessee lead to four. With two innings to play, the Lady Vols led 10-6.

In the top of the sixth, Sarah Longley grounded one up the middle and Donihoo made a nice play as she started a 6-4-3 double play. The Gators were held scoreless in the inning.

Elizabeth Hightower came in for Florida to start the bottom of the sixth in the circle. She worked herself out of trouble as she had two runners in scoring position but kept the deficit at four with three outs left to play.

With two outs in the seventh, Echols stepped up to the plate as Florida’s last chance. She fought through a 14-pitch at-bat before popping up in foul ground to end the game.

After the Gators were up four in the second inning, Tennessee won by a final score of 10-6.

FSU Up Next

After getting swept by Tennessee, the Gator softball team will head to Tallahassee to face off against the Florida State Seminoles for a mid-week clash. This will be the first Sunshine State Showdown of the season. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

About Hugh Green

Hugh is a third year student majoring in Journalism: Sports and Media at the University of Florida.

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