Softball
UF's Skylar Wallace (17) attempts to hit a ball during the Gators game against Kentucky on Sunday, March 24, 2024, in the Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.(Lee Ann Anderson/WRUF)

Florida Softball Completes Comeback to Clinch Series Win At MSU

The No. 10 Florida Gators softball team defeated the No.17 Mississippi State Bulldogs 7-6 to win the series Saturday at Nusz Park in Starkville.

The Gators (31-5, 7-2 SEC) came back from a 6-2 deficit against the Bulldogs (25-9, 6-6). Jocelyn Erickson hit a two-run home run in the seventh to give the Gators a 7-6 lead.

Mississippi State Strikes Early

The Gators allowed the first three runs of the game to the Bulldogs. A Salen Hawkins RBI single and a Sierra Sacco RBI walk put Mississippi State up 2-0 in the second inning. UF pitcher Keagan Rothrock (15-3) left the game in this inning, but she returned to the game in the bottom of the fourth.

Hawkins had another RBI off a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-0.

Ava Brown Responds at the Plate

Ava Brown came into the circle during the second inning, and she allowed four earned runs until she exited in the bottom of the fourth.

However, she provided herself run support in the top of the fourth. She hit a two-run home run to make it a 3-2 deficit, her eighth of the season.

Mississippi State scored three runs in the fourth to make it a 6-2 game.

Rothrock Rebounds

Rothrock came back into the game to surrender zero earned runs after this point. She ended the game with four strikeouts, three walks and six hits. She allowed two earned runs.

Her steadiness in the circle in the later part of the game allowed the Florida offense to mount a late-game comeback.

Florida’s Series-Winning Heroics

The Gators chipped away at the 6-2 deficit in the sixth with two runs. Korbe Otis hit a sacrifice fly and Skylar Wallace beat the throw to home off a Erickson grounder to make it 6-4.

However, the top of the seventh was where the Gators completed the comeback. Kendra Falby reached on an error to start the inning, and Wallace followed  with an RBI triple to make it 6-5. Erickson then hit her eighth home run of the season on a line drive to right field to give the Gators a 7-6 lead.

Rothrock retired the top of the Mississippi State order to clinch the third straight SEC series win for Florida.

Up Next

The Gators travel to DeLand to face Stetson at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

About Jackson Colding

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

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