Florida hit Tennessee sophomore infielder Makenzie Gibson with a pitch to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Gibson advanced to third after junior infielder Zaida Puni doubled to left field.
Puni’s double was followed by a home run from junior catcher Rylie West, who drove in Gibson and Puni to win the game by four.
The No. 13 Florida Gators (32-14, 8-10 SEC) fell to the No.4 Tennessee Volunteers (38-5, 16-2 SEC) 10-6 Monday evening in Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
Tennessee freshman pitcher Karlyn Pickens started in the circle for the Lady Vols. UF junior shortstop Skylar Wallace singled to the Vols’ catcher and advanced to second after sophomore center fielder Kendra Falby singled to shortstop.
Florida graduate student third baseman Charla Echols singled up the middle and brought Wallace home for the first run of the night. Sophomore second baseman Reagan Walsh reached on a fielder's choice, and Echols was caught out at second, but Falby advanced to third to end the half.
Gators sophomore right-handed pitcher Lexi Delbrey started in the circle for Florida.
Delbrey let up a single through the left side from senior outfielder Kiki Milloy to begin the bottom half. Milloy then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore infielder McKenna Gibson singled to right center and drove in Milloy to tie up the game.
Delbrey struck out junior catcher Rylie West and left Vols runner Gibson stranded on base.
Junior catcher Emily Wilkie homered to right field to extend the Gators’ lead to 2-1 to start the top of the second. Pickens walked senior utility player Sarah Longley. The UF senior then advanced to second after junior first baseman Avery Goelz reached on a fielding error.
Wallace homered to right field to score Goelz and Longley and push Florida in front by four runs. Tennessee then replaced Pickens with senior pitcher Payton Gottshall after the homer. Gottshall held the Gators scoreless through the rest of the top half; she struck out Falby and Walsh to close the frame.
Tennessee junior outfielder Giulia Koutsoyanopulos singled to shortstop and advanced to second with a single to center field by sophomore outfielder Katie Taylor. Milloy loaded the bases and advanced Taylor and Koutsoyanopulos when Delbrey hit her with a pitch.
Sophomore Lair Beautae singled up the middle and brought Taylor and Koutsoyanopulos home to bring the Lady Vols within two, 5-3. Delbrey hit Gibson to load the bases and then walked junior infielder Zaida Puni to bring Milloy home. Florida led 5-4 to end the second inning.
Florida graduate student utility player Pal Egan hit a leadoff double to left-center to begin the top half of the third. Wilkie flied out to center field and advanced Egan to second. Gottshall struck out Longley to end the top with Egan left on base.
Delbrey struck out Koutsoyanopulos and walked freshman Jamison Brockenbro to start the bottom half. Brockenbro advanced to second on a wild pitch from Delbrey. Senior left-handed pitcher Rylee Trlicek replaced Delbrey after she walked Taylor.
Trlicek struck out Milloy, but she reached first on a passed ball that was not caught to load the bases. However, a groundout from Beautae ended the third inning with the bases loaded.
Tennessee held the Gators scoreless through the fourth. Trlicek struck out Gibson to begin the bottom. Puni singled through the left side; freshman outfielder Brylee Mesusan pinch ran for Puni. West singled down the left-field line, advancing Mesusan to second. Koutsoyanopulos singled to shortstop to advance West and Mesusan.
Senior infielder Makenzie Donihoo reached on a fielding error by Walsh; West and Mesusan scored to take the lead. Brockenbro singled to second base and brought Koutsoyanopulos home to push the Volunteers’ lead to 7-5.
Echols homered to center field to bring Florida within one in the top half of the fifth. Trlicek hit Gibson with a pitch, and she advanced to third after Puni doubled to left field. West homered to center field to score Puni and Gibson and extend Tennessee’s lead to 10-6 to end the fifth inning.
Wilkie singled to left field and was caught out when Longley grounded out into a double play to end the top of the sixth. Graduate student right-handed pitcher Elizabeth Hightower replaced Trlicek in the bottom half.
Taylor singled up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Hightower walked Gibson, but a wild pitch from Hightower advanced Gibson and Taylor to end the sixth inning.
The Gators failed to score any runs in the seventh inning, and the Lady Vols won the game 10-6.
UF will play against the Florida State Seminoles at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Joanne Graf Field. The game will be streamed via ACC Network.
Alyssa Britton-Harr is a second-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spending time with her friends.