Florida catcher Jocelyn Erickson (8) rounds second after hitting a home run during an NCAA softball game at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Friday, February 16, 2024. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

Florida Softball takes on UNF

No. 14 Florida softball (8-2) is in Jacksonville today to face the University of North Florida Ospreys (6-3) in two back-to-back games. The first game is set to begin at 4 p.m. and the second is at 6:30 p.m.

UNF hasn’t defeated Florida since 2007 and are on a 14-game losing streak. The last time these two teams met was in April in Gainesville, with the Gators coming out on top, 6-1.


Florida is coming off of a 3-0 loss to the No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowgirls (7-2) on Monday. SEC Freshman of the Week Keagan Rothrock had 89 pitches and only allowed two hits and two walks. Rothrock leads the SEC in strikeouts with 38.

Fierce Freshmen Arms

Gators head coach Tim Walton spoke on Tuesday about his team’s early loss and their upcoming game. He said he was very encouraged on Monday because of fan turnout and energy. He also shared his excitement about how well Florida softball’s freshmen pitchers have played.

“Both have really done very well,” he said of Rothrock and another freshman pitcher, Ava Brown. “They work together very well, they complement each other, they’re such different pitchers. Their work effort is really strong,”

He said that Brown has a lot of grit and focuses on the feel of pitching, while Rothrock is more focused on the physics of pitching. The development of freshman left-handed pitcher Olivia Miller is also key to this week, he added.

Florida’s Fielding Freshman

Walton also talked about freshman infielder Mia Williams.

“Last night she had her best two-strike swing of the year,” he said. “I always look, when you start to evaluate talent, there’s the actual ability itself physically, then there’s the mental pieces that go into that…How do they adjust to two-strikes, how do they adjust to failure, how do you adjust to success?”

Walton said Williams’ swing is really good in a practice setting and the mental component just needs to be applied in a game setting.

He also emphasized the importance of getting the freshmen playing time.

“Getting [the younger players] a chance to participate, they work really hard, and we’ve got some good players that still just need a chance to go,” Walton said.

Coverage for Florida softball starts at 3:45 p.m. on ESPN 98-1 FM, 850 AM WRUF, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.

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