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Monday, January 30, 2023

Gators bulldoze Hatters 7-0 to claim eleventh shutout of the year

Florida executes an assertive fifth inning to ice out Stetson

No. 6 Florida shut out the Stetson Hatters, 7-0 Tuesday night.
No. 6 Florida shut out the Stetson Hatters, 7-0 Tuesday night.

Entering Tuesday night’s matchup against the Hatters, the Florida softball team was 11-1 when scoring in the first inning and a perfect 16-0 when scoring the game’s first run.

Not much changed as the No. 6 Gators (26-3, 4-2) executed a 7-0 victory over Stetson (12-19, 2-1), due in large part to the speed of freshman Kendra Falby and her game-defining opening run in the top of the first. 

Stetson pitcher Lauren Hobbs came into the game fresh off earning ASUN conference pitcher of the week and became the first Hatters’ pitcher to win two conference road games in the same weekend since 2015. 

The sophomore struck out six North Alabama hitters to help her team capture the series victory against the Lions. 

Despite a stellar performance against North Alabama to capture the daunting accolade, it didn't take long for Florida hitters to figure out the best means of attacking Hobbs’ throws.  

Freshman Regan Walsh notched her fifth home run of the year to open the fourth inning and put the Gators up 2-0. The solo homer also signaled Walsh’s second-straight game with a home run. 

Falby scored her second run of the game off a wild pitch from Hobbs. Senior Charla Echols connected on a powerful home run that resulted in two runs for Florida and grew a 5-0 lead. 

Florida pitcher Lexie Delbrey kept Stetson hitters off balance and scoreless before being relieved by senior right-handed pitcher Natalie Lugo at the bottom of the sixth inning.

At the top of the seventh, redshirt junior Skylar Wallace made her impact known by stealing second base and scoring a run shortly after. Junior Sarah Longley scored the final run for Florida and stamped off on the 7-0 victory.

Lugo was able to easily put the game away for the Gators at the bottom of the inning, allowing only one hit and attempting 19 pitches. 

Stetson has a chance at redemption as they travel to Gainesville for another match-up against Florida tomorrow at 6 p.m. 

The game at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium can be seen on the SEC Network.

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Contact Brenda Bogle at bbogle@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @bogle_brenda.




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Brenda Bogle

Brenda Bogle is a UF journalism senior with a specialization in sports and media. She joined The Alligator in the Fall of 2021.


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