UF’s Keagan Rothrock pitches Sunday against UIC at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. [Lee Ann Anderson/WRUF]

No. 13 Florida Softball Beats No. 18 UCLA, DePaul

On the second day of the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., the No. 13 Gators (18-2) battled a ranked opponent, the No. 18 UCLA Bruins (5-9), for the second time this season. Though they gave up an error and were caught stealing multiple times, Florida walked away the victors.

They continued their success with a win against DePaul (3-12).

Game 1: Florida edged out UCLA, 1-0

The Gators proved their pitching was one of the best in the nation in their win against UCLA. Keagan Rothrock (8-2) stepped into the circle for the second day in a row after hurling a no-hitter the night before against the Titans.

Rothrock limited the Bruins, who put up 10 runs against Michigan earlier Friday. UCLA’s batters only hit off her twice over 104 pitches, a single and a double. She walked two batters and threw five strikeouts.

Rothrock’s most dynamic moment came in the sixth inning. UCLA’s Jadelyn Allchin reached first base on an error by Ava Brown. Maya Brady, their shortstop, jogged to third. With runners on the corner and two outs, Rothrock needed an out.

Jordan Woolery, the Bruins’ first baseman, stepped into the batter’s box. She took a strike and two balls. She then fouled off the next two pitches.

Rothrock spun the ball past Woolery who tried to swing. The Gators made it out of the inning, winning the game soon after.

Going into conference play, the Gators should focus on taking advantage of their opportunities. They were caught stealing twice, limiting the damage they could do in an inning. They put up six hits, including Skylar Wallace’s homer. But most of their hits were singles that had little impact on the game.

However, Florida’s pitching is dynamic. While Olivia Miller threw two perfect games and Rothrock threw two no-hitters, the pitching staff is the most impressive when they shut down ranked opponents. Though Rothrock is the only Gator to have faced ranked opponents, there is little reason to believe Miller and Brown can’t repeat their successes in the future.

Game 2: Gators crush DePaul, 12-0 (mercy-rule)

The Gators bats were revived against DePaul University’s starting pitcher. They quickly knocked her out and Florida continued to find success the in following innings with a total of 14 hits and 12 runs.

The game only lasted five innings, but the Gators pitching staff divided up the innings between Brown and Miller. Brown, who threw four innings, managed to strike out two. But the Blue Demons hit the ball three times. Miller came in for the fifth inning, managing only one hit over her 12 pitches.

While DePaul wasn’t a competitive component, the Gators found success with the bat heating up. Now, they have to continue that intensity into their upcoming game against Michigan and the conference games.

Up Next

The Gators play a rematch against Michigan (10-9) at 12:30 Saturday to end the Judi Garman Classic. They lost to Michigan on Feb. 10 in a 10-inning game, 2-1. Now, the Gators look to even the score and journey to Tuscaloosa, Ala., with a 10-game win streak.

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About Liana Handler

Liana Handler is a sophmore at the University of Florida, studying sports journalism.

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