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Monday, March 20, 2023

Gators softball extends all-time record against Jacksonville to 26-0

Goddard scored three runs to lead Gators to victory

Florida’s 5-2 win over FSU marked its last game before the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
Photo from UF-Louisville game Feb. 27.
Florida’s 5-2 win over FSU marked its last game before the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Photo from UF-Louisville game Feb. 27.

Redshirt junior Baylee Goddard strung out on offense against Jacksonville. She continuously scored runs that led the Gators to double-digit runs for the fourth time this season. 

The No. 3 Florida Gators (4-0) defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins (3-2) 13-2 Tuesday night in Jacksonville. The Gators are undefeated through 26 games against the Dolphins. 

UF sophomore Sam Roe was dealt a wild pitch, which allowed Goddard to steal home plate at the top of the first to give Florida a 1-0 lead. 

Graduate student pitcher Elizabeth Hightower and the Gators strung out on defense. Hightower retired the side and struck out a pair to leave the Dolphins without a hit or run by the bottom of the first. 

Goddard homered to left field and drove in sophomore Kendra Falby and senior Sarah Longley to extend UF’s lead to 4-0 at the top of the second inning. Hightower kept the Dolphins off balance with her powerful pitching to keep Jacksonville scoreless through the bottom of the second inning. 

Redshirt junior Skylar Wallace homered down the infield line to bring three runners home — Goddard and junior Katie Kistler — and the Gators led 7-0. Florida graduate student Charla Echols sent the ball over the wall toward right field for a home run to extend UF's lead by one run at the top of the third. 

Hightower retired five of the first seven batters she saw through the bottom of the third. 

Florida junior Avery Goelz doubled to center field, which left players on second and third. Freshman Olivia Gigante was hit by a pitch that brought Roe home to put the Gators up 9-0. Falby then walked, which allowed Goelz to score off a free pass. Wilikie scored after Goddard was hit by a pitch to push Florida’s lead to 11-0 in the top of the fourth.   

Wallace reached on a fielder's choice, and Gigante scored to extend the score to 12-0. Sophomore Reagan Walsh flied out to the right field but brought Falby home. The RBI sacrifice fly pushed Florida’s lead to 13-0 to end the top of the fourth inning. 

The Gators’ defense shut out the Dolphins again at the bottom of the fourth. 

Florida was held scoreless at the top of the fifth inning for the first time this season. Jacksonville plated a run on a one-out bases-loaded walk to up the score and get their first run of the season 13-1. Graduate student Madison Kennedy scored on a wild pitch to give the Dolphins another run. 

Jacksonville junior Madison Reynolds grounded out to second base to end the game as UF continued its undefeated start to the season.

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The Gators will take on the Jacksonville Dolphins for a second time at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The game will be streamed on SEC Network+.

Contact Alyssa Britton-Harr at 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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