Florida found its momentum in game five of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Regionals Saturday night.
After dropping game four 8-0 to Stanford earlier that afternoon, the Gators turned its fortunes around to stay alive in the NCAA Regional tournament.
The No. 20 Florida Gators (38-21, 11-13 SEC) defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions (28-22, 12-3 WCC) 10-6 in the fifth game of the NCAA Regionals in Palo Alto, California Saturday.
UF redshirt junior shortstop Skylar Wallace doubled to left center and advanced to second base with a hit that bounced off the back wall in the first inning. UF sophomore center fielder Kendra Falby singled to third base and advanced Wallace to third.
Florida graduate student third baseman Charla Echols reached on a fielder’s choice. Falby advanced to third base and Wallace scored to bring in the Gators first run.
LMU junior pitcher Jenna Perez struck out sophomore second baseman Reagan Walsh but Echols was able to steal second with hopes to score another run. UF freshman infielder Kaila Pollard singled to center field and brought Falby back to home plate to extend the Gators lead to 2-0 at the end of the opening frame.
UF senior left-handed pitcher Rylee Trlicek struck out LMU senior outfielder Morgan DeBord to start the bottom half of the first. A fly out from freshman catcher Izzy Jamgotchian retired the side for the Gators and ended the first inning.
Florida junior first baseman Avery Goelz tripled to right field and was brought home after senior utility player Sarah Longley singled to push the Gators lead to 3-0. Lions freshman pitcher Lindsay O’Dell replaced Perez in the top of the second.
Wallace singled to shortstop and advanced Longley to second base. O’Dell walked Falby to load the bases. Echols grounded out to second base and scored Longley to give Florida a four-run lead against LMU.
Walsh reached on a fielding error by shortstop DeBord.Wallace scored on the play to up the Gators’ lead to 5-0 after the top half of the second. Trlicek and the Gators defense retired the side in order and left the Lions scoreless through the second inning.
The Lions kept the Gators at bay through the third with three groundouts from Longley, Goelz and junior outfielder Katie Kistler.
Trlicek struck out LMU freshman infielder Gabby Villa freshman outfielder Avery Francis to end the third inning.
O’Dell started the top of the fourth with a strikeout to Wallace. Falby singled up the middle and advanced to first base, but was caught out at second as Echols reached on a fielder’s choice. Walsh homered to center field and scored Echols to extend Florida’s lead to 7-0.
DeBord singled to right-field and advanced to second after Jamgotchian grounded out to shortstop. LMU sophomore catcher Arianna Jaurqui responded to the Gators' homer with a single to left-field and scored DeBord to give the Lions their first run of the game to end the fourth inning.
Kistler answered with her first home run of the season deep to right-center field to extend the Gators lead to 8-1. LMU sophomore pitcher Savannah Hooks replaced O’Dell in the top of the fifth. She kept the Gators from adding any more runs to the scoreboard in the frame.
Trlicek ended the fifth inning with a pair of strikeouts to Villa and freshman catcher Taylor Fitch.
Hooks struck out Wallace to start the sixth inning, but a single to left-field from Falby kept the Gators momentum flowing. Echols homered to right-center — her 12th of the season — and scored Falby to put Florida up 10-1. LMU graduate student pitcher Logan Caymol replaced Hooks in the sixth after Echols’ home run.
LMU sophomore outfielder Sydney Poole singled to Trlicek and advanced to first base. Jamgotchian homered to left-center and scored Poole to push the Lions score to 10-3 to end the sixth inning.
Caymol walked Goelz but a groundout from Longley ended the top half of the seventh. LMU junior infielder Adele Braun homered to center-field and scored graduate student outfielder Elisa Rosada. Francis homered to left-field to the Lions second home run of the game to push the Lions score to 10-6. However, the Gators ended the seventh inning with a four-run lead over LMU to take the victory.
UF will play Stanford in game six of the NCAA Regionals at 4 p.m. Sunday. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.
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.