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Monday, March 20, 2023

Florida softball calls it close with a three-run win against Bowling Green

Hightower kept the Falcons scoreless to protect victory

Pitcher Elizabeth Hightower throws a pitch against the Bowling Green Falcons in a 10-7 victory, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023.
Pitcher Elizabeth Hightower throws a pitch against the Bowling Green Falcons in a 10-7 victory, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023.

The Gators called it close with the Bowling Green Falcons after both teams traded runs in UF’s tightest matchup so far early in the season.

Florida trailed for the first time this season in the top of the sixth. Graduate student third baseman Charla Echols doubled to right center for three runs batting in, to restore the Gators’ lead in the bottom of the sixth, which helped them win Saturday’s game.  

The No. 3 Florida Gators (7-0) defeated Bowling Green (3-5) 10-7 in Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Saturday afternoon. 

Freshman right-handed pitcher Olivia Gigante started on the mound for Florida and struck out the Falcons’ second batter, freshman right fielder Delaney Davis. 

Bowling Green third baseman junior Sophie Weber singled to advance to first base. Falcons catcher junior Reagan Williamson popped her hit, and UF junior shortstop Skylar Wallace caught it. BGSU ended the top of the first with no runs.

Echols singled down the infield line, and Wallace scored for the Gators’ first run of the game.  

Sophomore second baseman Sam Roe reached on a fielder's choice, and Echols scored to give Florida a 2-0 lead to end the first inning. 

Gigante kept the Falcons scoreless at the top of the second. Wallace tripled to left field, and sophomore left fielder Kendra Falby scored to extend the lead to 3-0 at the bottom of the second. 

Echols flied out to left field, and Wallace scored to make it 4-0 to end the second inning. 

Williamson singled up the middle, and junior center fielder Makailah Dees and freshman second baseman Hannah Hunt scored to cut into the Florida lead, 4-2.

Junior left fielder Peyton Dolejs singled down the left field line, which allowed Weber to come home to up their score 4-3. Senior first baseman Ally Bezjak singled up the middle, then Williamson scored for the Falcons to tie the game 4-4 to end the top of the third inning. 

Gators junior right fielder Avery Goelz doubled to right center, and Roe scored to give UF the lead, 5-4, at the bottom of the third. Junior catcher Katie Kistler singled up the middle, which allowed Goelz to score and make it 6-4. 

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Graduate student right-handed pitcher Samatha Bender replaced Gigante on the mound at the top of the fourth. Bender ended the inning with a strikeout and did not allow any runs or errors. 

Falcons right-handed pitcher Hannah Davies kept the Gators scoreless to end the fourth inning. 

Benzjak singled to right center, and junior designated hitter Maycee Godbolt and Weber came home to tie up the game again, 6-6 at the top of the fifth. 

With two runs scored by Bowling Green, Florida graduate student Elizabeth Hightower stepped on the mound. Falcons sophomore shortstop Wynnie Reid singled down the left field line, and Dolejs scored to give BGSU its first lead of the game, 7-6.  

Echols doubled to left center for three RBI. Wallace, Falby and senior utility player Sarah Longley scored to retake the lead, 9-7, to end the fifth inning. 

Freshman infielder Kaila Pollard singled up the middle and graduate student Pal Egan scored to extend the lead to 10-7 at the end of the sixth inning. 

Hightower kept the Falcons scoreless at the top of the seventh and struck out Bezjak swinging to end the game. 

UF is set to play the Connecticut Huskies to finish off the doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. at Katie Sesahole Pressly Stadium. 

Contact Alyssa Britton-Harr Follow her on Twitter @abrittonharr

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Alyssa Britton-Harr

Alyssa Britton-Harr is a first-year journalism major and the softball reporter for The Aligator. When not writing, you can see her cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, going to country concerts, and spending time with her friends.

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