Junior shortstop Skylar Wallace scored the Gators' only two runs in the first game of Friday's doubleheader after she hit a home run and brought sophomore outfielder Kendra Falby home.
Wallace’s home run wasn’t enough to win the first game of the doubleheader. However, her triple in the seventh inning helped the Gators win the second game of the day.
The No. 8 Florida Gators (21-5) lost to the Missouri Tigers (19-10) 7-3 in the first game and beat them 4-3 in the second game of their doubleheader Friday to open the weekend with Southeastern Conference Play.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Lexi Delbrey started in the circle for Florida Friday afternoon. Tigers junior shortstop Jenna Laird hit a single to get on base. Junior outfielder Alex Honnold brought Laird home when she homered down the right-field line.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
Missouri senior right-handed pitcher Jordan Weber held the Gators scoreless to end the bottom of the first. Graduate student third baseman Charla Echols picked up an infield hit on a deflected ball, and freshmen first baseman Olivia Gigante flied out to right field.
Delbrey settled and retired the side in order. She picked up her second strikeout of the game to end a scoreless top of the second.
Weber continued to keep Florida without a run as the top of the third began. Sophomore catcher Sam Roe singled through the left side for the Gators’ second hit of the game but failed to score a run.
Delbrey retired the side on three consecutive groundouts. Sophomore outfielder Reagan Walsh picked up each ground ball at second base to close the top of the third. Wallace homered to center field and brought home Falby to tie the game at two apiece in the bottom of the third.
Missouri sophomore third baseman Kara Daly doubled and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. However, Delbrey prevented another hit and left Daly stranded on third.
Weber and Missouri's defense didn’t allow a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Honnold homered to right center for her second home run of the game and three RBIs. Laird and senior outfielder Hanna McGiven scored to extend Missouri's lead to 5-2 in the top of the fifth.
Missouri's defense held the Gators at two runs through the bottom of the fifth inning. Daly homered to right field to up their lead to 6-2 in the top of the sixth.
Graduate student right-handed pitcher Samatha Bender replaced Delbrey in the circle in the bottom of the sixth. Wallace walked and stole second after Gigante struck out but couldn’t find her way home as the inning ended.
Honnold singled to right field, and Laird advanced to third. She was later brought home by sophomore outfielder Julia Crenshaw after she flied out to right center. The Tigers extended their lead to 7-2 in the top of the seventh.
Walsh reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Senior utility player Sarah Longley brought Walsh home with a single through the left side. The run brought the Gators within four but wasn’t enough to take the win.
Falby reached on a fielder's choice, and Longley was caught out to end the first game of the doubleheader.
Graduate student right-handed pitcher Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle for the Gators in the second game. Laird singled to center field and then advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Daly reached on a fielder's choice, and Laird scored on a throwing error by junior catcher Emily Wilkie to give Missouri a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Junior right-handed pitcher Lauren Krings held Florida scoreless through the first inning.
Hightower struck out Daly to keep the Tigers at one run through three innings. Junior outfielder Katie Kistler singled to right center. Falby singled to third base, and Kistler advanced to second.
Echols then reached on a fielder's choice, and Falby advanced to third while Kistler was caught out at home. Graduate student utility player Pal Egan reached on a throwing error by the second baseman, and Falby scored to tie the game at one.
Walsh singled to center field to bring Echols and Wallace home to give the Gators a 3-1 lead to end the third inning.
Hightower kept the Tigers from scoring any runs in the top of the fourth. Wallace tripled down the right-field line, and Falby scored to give the Gators a three-run lead to end the fourth.
Florida senior left-handed pitcher Rylee Trilcek replaced Hightower in the top of the fifth. Honnold singled through the left side, and sophomore Maddie Snider scored to bring Missouri within two.
Crenshaw flied out to left field, and Laird scored to cut the Gators’ lead to one. Krings struck out Walsh and Wilkie to end the fifth inning. Both teams were scoreless in the sixth.
The Gators ended the seventh inning with a 3-1 double play to get Daly out. The out gave Florida a 4-3 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.
UF is set to close out their series against Missouri at 1 p.m. Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The game will be streamed via SEC Network +.
Contact Alyssa Britton-Harr email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @abrittonharr.
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.