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Kendra Falby. Photo courtesy of Arnav Barpujari.

Gators Split Day Two At USF-Rawlings Invitational

The Florida Gators softball team split its pair of games on the second day of the USF-Rawlings Invitational in Tampa, losing to Michigan 2-1, but defeating Illinois State 12-1 later Saturday.

Neither game finished in the standard seven innings. The first game lasted double the amount of innings as the second. The Gators (2-1) matchup against Michigan needed three extra innings to separate the teams. And the Gators needed just five innings against Illinois State to score 12 runs and force the run-ahead rule.

Pitching to Perfection

Gators pitchers have had a near-perfect start to the season. After allowing zero runs to Oregon State on Friday, freshman starting pitchers Ava Brown and Keagan Rothrock tossed 13 combined innings and allowed zero earned runs in Saturday’s games.

As a pitching staff, the Gators combined for 15 innings, while allowing only six hits, four walks and one earned run on Saturday.

Bats Heating Up

The Gators could only muster two runs in their first two games of the season. A solo home run was the difference in Friday’s matchup against Oregon State, but the Gators could not take advantage of seven scoreless innings from Rothrock and would lose to Michigan in extra innings, 2-1.

But, the Gators quickly found the spark they were looking for against Illinois State. By the third inning, Florida had already scored nine runs, highlighted by four RBIs from center fielder Kendra Falby. The Gators added three more runs in the next two innings to force the run-ahead rule on the Redbirds, 12-1. 

Freshman Ariel Kowalewski hit the first home run of her collegiate career in the second inning, one of three home runs the Gators hit against the Redbirds. 

USF-Rawlings Invitational Finale

The Gators finish off the USF-Rawlings Invitational on Sunday with games against Bethune-Cookman and USF. First pitch against Bethune-Cookman is set for noon followed at 2:30 p.m. against USF.

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