UF catcher Jocelyn Erickson, left, and pitcher Ava Brown talk in Wednesday's game against USF at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. [Sydney Johnson/ WRUF]

Florida Softball Loses Series Opener At Mizzou

The No. 9 Florida Gators softball team traveled to Missouri, but they couldn’t escape their woes Friday.

Pitcher Keagan Rothrock struggled to get batters out and a UF offense that had been electric against the two previous SEC opponents was silenced by the fourth inning in a 6-3 loss to open the three-game series.

Finding The Zone

Rothrock (17-6) couldn’t find the strike zone consistency. She had a no-hitter through five innings, giving up three hits. However, five costly walks and four hit-by-pitches meant that the Gators (34-8, 9-4 SEC) couldn’t breathe. She gave up six earned runs over her 5.2 innings pitched.

A single by infielder Maddie Gallagher broke the game open for the No. 14 Tigers (32-10, 6-7). Florida’s graduate student pitcher Mackenzie Wooten shut down the seventh inning, but the Gators couldn’t get back into it.

So, while Keagan proved that she has the talent to pitch against SEC opponents, the biggest takeaway from this game is her inconsistency in the circle.

Runners Can’t Score

The Gators scored early with a Korbe Otis single and an Ava Brown homer. They bounced starting pitcher Marissa McCann, who only got through 2.2 innings. After the Tigers tied the game in the second inning, Reagan Walsh sliced a single past the diving shortstop to drive in a run and give UF a 3-2 lead in the third.

The Gators left runners on base in key moments. In three separate times, Florida left runners on base with less than two outs. Laurin Krings came in to replace McCann, and she shut down the Gators before it could get too hot. She only walked one and struck out three. 

The Tigers scored four runs in the sixth to pull away for the win.

Up Next

The teams play Game 2 of the series starting at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Fans can catch the game on the SEC Network.

About Liana Handler

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

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