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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Florida forces a game three against Virginia Tech, extending its super regional run

After being shutout in their first game against Virginia Tech, the Gators punched back to go to a game three

<p>Florida&#x27;s Skylar Wallace rounds the bases against Mississippi State March 14. Wallace recorded two doubles in Saturday&#x27;s Super Regional victory over Virginia Tech.</p>

Florida's Skylar Wallace rounds the bases against Mississippi State March 14. Wallace recorded two doubles in Saturday's Super Regional victory over Virginia Tech.

The Florida softball team won Saturday against the Virginia Tech Hokies, 7-2, in its second game of the day, racking up runs late in the final two innings.

The Gators lost their earlier game Saturday 6-0 against the Hokies; a matchup that the Gators trailed entirely throughout and needed to be finished the next day due to weather delays. The orange and blue, playing their scheduled game two against Virginia Tech at noon, we’re determined to not be outplayed.

Starting for the Gators in the circle was freshman Lexie Delbrey. The Bainbridge, Georgia, native was poised at the start, grabbing a pair of strikeouts in the first inning. 

Florida, not backing down, followed Delbrey as it kept the Hokies scoreless through three innings.

UF struck first in the bottom of the third with two Gators on third and second base. Senior Charla Echols smacked the ball straight to Virginia Tech's second baseman sophomore Cameron Fagan, who made an infield error, dropping the ball to the clay. Florida took advantage of that and scored freshman Kendra Falby.

Virginia Tech climbed back into the game, taking a 2-1 lead over the Gators with a walk in the top of the fourth inning for Hokies’ graduate student Ally Repko and a run in the top of the fifth as junior Morgan Overaitis took Delbrey for yard, doubling to deep-right field to score junior Jayme Bailey.

Going into the bottom of the fifth down a run, Florida successfully got on base and found itself in a game-defining setup. 

With players on third and second base, Echols doubled deep to center field, running in both fifth year Hannah Adams and redshirt junior Skylar Wallace. In just one inning, Florida got back up on the scoreboard.

Sophomore Katie Kistler grounded into a fielder's choice to second, scoring redshirt freshman Christina Wellen. Following in her footsteps, freshman Sam Roe sacrifice-bunted to the Hokies pitcher, bringing in junior Sarah Longley for the Gators.

A four-run explosion from the Gators in the fifth inning was too much for Virginia Tech, as Florida went on to score two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. The first came via a double to center field from Wallace bringing in Falby, and a single to left by freshman Reagan Walsh to score Wallace earned the second. 

Delbrey, who pitched for 4.1 innings, allowed only five hits and ended her day with five strikeouts as fifth year Natalie Lugo finished the game for Florida in the sixth inning.

Lugo pitched three strikeouts in 2.2 innings, shutting out Virginia Tech for the remainder of the game.

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Florida, after losing game one in blowout fashion, found itself extending its super regional to a game three against Virginia Tech at the Blacksburg Super Regional. 

The Gators will play their third game against the Hokies tomorrow at a time to be determined.

Contact Brandon Hernandez at Follow him on Twitter @BranH2001.

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Brandon Hernandez

Brandon Hernandez is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. He is a writer for The Alligator, Gator Country and for PlugTalkSports. You can find most of his work on his Twitter (BranH2001) and on his podcast, “The Courtside Podcast,” on Spotify.

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