The Gators softball team does the Gator chomp before its game against the University of Illinois Chicago on Sunday, February 25, 2024. Photo courtesy of Kitty Stoll.

Gators Bats Erupt to Secure Softball Series Win Over Alabama

The 13th-ranked Florida Gators  defeated the 11th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 11-2 in five innings Sunday in Tuscaloosa.

The Gators (21-3, 2-0 SEC) had struggled against Power Five competition before producing 11 runs and 10 hits to run-rule Alabama (19-3, 0-2) for the first time since 2011 to win the SEC softball series at Rhoads Stadium.

Ava Brown’s Big Day

Ava Brown (9-1) shined at the plate and on the mound in her first SEC start.

On the mound, she gave up three walks, three hits and two runs. The only runs came on a Abby Duchscherer fielder’s choice and a Bailey Dowling RBI groundout. Brown recorded three strikeouts.

She also gave herself run support. Brown went 2-for-3 with a RBI single and a solo home run, her fifth of the season, to make it 4-2.

Hot Start

The Gators jumped out to a hot start by scoring three runs in the first three innings. Reagan Walsh grounded into a double play, and Skylar Wallace scored on a wild pitch for the first two runs. The third run came in the third inning on a Wallace RBI single.

Fifth-Inning Outburst

The Gators scored seven runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach. Jocelyn Erickson started the scoring by hitting an RBI single to make it 5-2.

Katie Kistler hit an RBI fielder’s choice, but a throwing error allowed two runs to score.

Brown’s single made it 8-2 and Cassidy McLellan’s sacrifice fly made it 9-2. Kendra Falby hit a run-scoring single and Wallace hit an RBI double to finish the scoring.

Falby, Wallace and Erickson all finished with multiple hits.

Defense Makes the Difference

The Gators finished with no errors, but Alabama finished with six. This was a big reason as to why the Gators were able to blow the game open. Falby’s defense early in the game helped the Gators dominate.

Up Next

Florida looks to complete the series sweep against Alabama at 7 p.m. ET Monday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and aired on ESPN 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF.

The Gators return home to play four straight games against Stetson, Mercer and Indiana.

About Jackson Colding

Jackson Colding is a second-year journalism sports and media student at the University of Florida.

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