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Monday, March 20, 2023

Florida softball sweeps past UAB with a blowout victory

Charla Echols hit two home runs in win

Catcher Emily Wilkie hits the ball in an 11-0 victory against the Jacksonville Dolphins Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.
Catcher Emily Wilkie hits the ball in an 11-0 victory against the Jacksonville Dolphins Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

The Gators held a five-run advantage in the top of the sixth inning against Alabama Birmingham. 

Freshman infielder Kaila Pollard and junior catcher Emily Wilkie smashed back-to-back home runs and blew the game wide open. Graduate student third baseman Charla Echols hit another home run to cap off a five-run inning.   

The No. 3 Florida Gators (13-3) blew past the UAB Blazers (10-9) 10-0 in Mary Bowers Stadium Saturday afternoon. 

Sophomore outfielder Kendra Falby singled up the middle to lead off the top of the first. Junior shortstop Skylar Wallace flied out to the right field, and Falby advanced to third on a throwing error by right field.

Echols singled to second base and sent Falby home to open the scoring to end the top of the first. 

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Lexie Delbrey started in the circle for Florida, and her start marked her first in the three-game series. Delbrey shut out the Blazers with back-to-back strikeouts to end the bottom of the first inning.

Junior outfielder Katie Kistler singled to right center to start the second. Pollard doubled to left center and brought Kistler home to extend the Gator’s lead to 2-0 to end the top of the second. 

Delbrey and the Gators' defense maintained their 2-0 lead even after UAB sophomore infielder Alyssa Aguilar singled to Delbrey. She lost control, and the ball went straight past her into the outfield, where Echols couldn’t grab the ball in time to get her out. 

However, the Blazers stranded the runner on first to end the bottom of the second. 

UAB junior pitcher Leigha Kirby kept Florida from extending its lead in the top of the third. The Gators held the Blazers scoreless in the bottom of the third after a 4-6 double play from sophomore infielder Reagan Walsh to Wallace.  

Sophomore catcher Sam Roe doubled to left center. Roe advanced to third after a single down the left-field line by junior first baseman Avery Goelz. 

Wilkie brought Roe home after she walked to first and scored on a wild pitch to push the Gators' lead to 3-0 to end the top of the fourth. Delbrey kept UAB scoreless to end the fourth inning with a strikeout and a 1-2-3 frame. 

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Echols homered to right field to up Florida's score to 4-0 in the top of the fifth. Goelz doubled to left center, and Walsh scored to push the lead to 5-0 for the Gators. 

The Blazers couldn’t respond to the Gators’ lead as they were shut out again in the bottom of the fifth by Delbrey. 

Pollard homered to left field, then Wilkie homered to left field to extend Florida's lead to 7-0 with back-to-back home runs. 

Wallace singled to shortstop, and Falby advanced to second base in the sixth inning. Echols brought Wallace and Falby home after she homered to right field to bring the score to 10-0 for official run-rule territory to end the top of the inning. 

The Blazers were left scoreless for the entire six innings by Delbrey and the Gators' defense to end the game. 

Florida will play UAB for the third time at 11 a.m. Sunday to end the weekend series.  

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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