Even while on the road, it’s hard to keep the No. 3 Florida Gators on their heels.
North Florida’s woeful defense didn’t get the memo Tuesday night, allowing seven errors to contribute to a one-sided 7-1 Gator win at UNF Softball Complex.
With the win, Florida now improves to 11-0. UNF is only the fifth team that scored against UF in 2022. Despite leaving nine runners on base, the Gators recorded 14 hits, including two doubles and triples each against UNF pitcher Erin Kyle.
Florida’s offense imposed itself early on. Senior Cheyenne Lindsey started the second inning with a triple to right field and scored on sophomore Avery Goelz’s RBI single.
In the third frame, Florida added two more runs on the heels of three UNF errors.
Gators infielder Hannah Adams reached third after Osprey outfielder Logan Jackson failed to track down a flyball to deep right field. Adams then scored on a throwing error by catcher Paige Pfent. First baseman Skylar Wallace also scored from second base following a throwing error by Jackson.
Delbrey was in a jam in the fourth inning after giving up a walk and a single. She had runners on second and third but escaped the tangle with a strikeout and a groundout.
Senior Charla Echols extended the lead to four in the fifth after scoring from third on a fielding error by second baseman Kayla McGory. Echols hit a leadoff single and was in third thanks to a Reagan Walsh single.
Freshman Kendra Falby, who was named the SEC Freshman of the Week Monday, scored the fifth run for the Gators after hitting a single and stealing second base. She reached home plate on a single by Wallace.
The Ospreys got on the board in the sixth on a solo homer by Pfent. The ball was crushed off Delbrey’s pitch down the middle and despite Lindsey’s efforts, it flew past the left-center field fence.
The Gators scored two runs in the seventh and had a chance to end the game via run rule when they had loaded bases with two outs. Adams, however, popped up to the infield to avoid the team’s fifth run-rule win of the season.
Delbrey earned her fourth win of the season after throwing a complete game with seven strikeouts. The freshman is now tied with senior Elizabeth Hightower in wins and leads in strikeouts with 24.
Lindsey had a strong performance, going 3-4 with two triples and two runs. She leads the Gators in triples with four. Echols, who was struggling offensively during the first four games, went 2-3 with two runs, a double and a walk.
Florida returns to action Wednesday when it hosts the UNF Ospreys at the Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+.
Jose Tovar is a fourth-year journalism student at the University of Florida specializing in sports and media. He has covered softball and soccer as a beat writer and aspires to work in the sports media industry.