UF's Reagan Walsh (15) hits the ball during against LSU at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Saturday.. [Lee Ann Anderson/WRUF]

Gators Softball Drops Game 2 Against LSU In Eight Innings

The No. 10 Florida Gators softball team lost 4-3 to the No. 5 LSU Tigers in eight innings Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The Gators (33-6, 8-3 SEC) had the Tigers down to their final strike in the top of the seventh, but Raeleen Gutierrez hit a game-tying RBI double to make it 3-3.

Tigers Get Going Early

LSU (31-5, 9-5) started the scoring in the second inning. Catcher Maci Bergeron hit an RBI double off Florida starter Ava Brown to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Gutierrez hit an RBI double in the third to make it 2-0.

Brown Rebounds

After a slow start in the first few innings for Ava Brown, she finished her outing with three scoreless innings to put the Gators in position to win. She pitched six innings of two-run softball. She gave up six hits, two walks and had six strikeouts to finish with a no-decision.

Brown on the adjustments she can make:

Florida Fights Back

LSU’s pitching posed a tough test for Florida’s bats. Kelley Lynch and Sydney Berzon (14-2) gave up three runs and eight hits total. Each pitcher struck out seven batters.

The Gators did not record their first hit of the game until a single by Korbe Otis in the fourth inning. The Gators would plate their first run of the game in this inning off a sacrifice fly from Brown. Otis hit an RBI single in the fifth, her second of three hits, to make it 2-2.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, with a runner on second and two outs, UF coach Tim Walton called upon Brooke Barnard to pinch-hit. She delivered with an RBI double to give Florida a 3-2 lead.

Skylar Wallace said both pitchers kept the team in the game. Also, she said the team needs to regroup heading into the series finale:

Timely Hits

Down 3-2 going into the seventh, LSU needed a timely hit to avoid losing the series. With a runner on third with two outs and a full count, Gutierrez hit her second RBI double of the game to tie it at three. Keagan Rothrock (17-4) came into the game in this inning to clinch the save for the Gators, but she could not put the LSU bats away.

In the top of the eighth, LSU got two more hits to set up a Maddox McKee sacrifice fly to make it 4-3. However, in the bottom half, Berzon shut the Gators down after a leadoff single. She struck out the three remaining batters to preserve the win.

Decisive Game Three

Florida and LSU play for the series win Monday night at 7, and the game will be televised on ESPN2 and air ESPN 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF.

About Jackson Colding

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

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