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Sunday, April 21, 2024

No. 14 Gators deliver five home runs in Wednesday’s doubleheader

The Gators recorded a new season high of four home run hits in Game two

Florida redshirt senior shortstop Skylar Wallace hits an RBI during the Gators' 9-1 win against the Jacksonville Dolphins, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.
Florida redshirt senior shortstop Skylar Wallace hits an RBI during the Gators' 9-1 win against the Jacksonville Dolphins, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.

After a tough home loss to the No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowgirls Monday night, the Gators bounced back on the road with 24 unanswered runs.

At the top of the fifth in game two, redshirt senior Baylee Goddard stepped up to the plate to hit for junior center-fielder Korbe Otis. With a 2-2 count, Goddard smashed a middle inside fastpitch over the left field wall for a two-run home run.

Sophomore catcher Jocelyn Erickson followed with a solo home run hit out to right center field. Her teammates met her at home plate cheering as she recorded her second home run of the season.

For her first hit as a Gator, junior second baseman Brooke Barnard added to the home run action. One out on the board and two runners on base, Barnard delivered a three-run home run to deep right center field to contribute to Florida's win.

The offense and UF’s pitching staff helped lead the No. 14 Florida Gators (10-2) to two wins over the North Florida Ospreys (6-5) 10-0 and 14-0 in Jacksonville at the UNF softball complex.

North Florida Shutout

Florida dominated during its first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. At the top of the second, two runners on base and no outs, freshman right-handed pitcher Ava Brown stepped up to the plate.

On a full count, Brown put a barrel on the middle inside of the plate for a fastpitch out of the park. She recorded her second home run of the season and extended the Gators lead to 4-0.

At the top of the sixth inning, UF delivered an explosive offense with five runs scored. Junior center fielder Kendra Falby and redshirt senior shortstop Skylar Wallace led the Gators with back-to-back walks. Otis executed a single up the middle to score Falby home.

With no outs, both runners tagged up on Erickson’s sacrifice fly to shallow left field. UNF’s senior shortstop Savannah Channell tried to make a throw to home plate, but Wallace showed off her speed and slid just ahead of the tag.

Kistler had a solid at bat on the ball, recording her first double of the year to score two more runs for the Gators. Brown followed with her season-high fourth RBI of the game with a single to center field to extend the lead 10-0.

Defensively, the Gator's defense drew it up in the bottom of the second. A 6-4-3 double play cleared the bases for the first two outs and Brown retired the inning with a strikeout.

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Freshman second baseman Mia Williams executed on defensive plays, recording four putouts and three assists. In the bottom of the 4th inning, she showed off her range with back-to-back ground outs to keep the Gators ahead 5-0.

The Osprey’s managed two hits off Brown and left three runners on base. Brown went the distance for a complete six-inning run rule the second time this season.

Explosive Fifth Inning Victory

Florida’s offensive momentum continued in the second game as UF took the initial lead right from the start. Wallace and Otis delivered back-to-back triples right down the right-field line to score two runs on the board.

At the top of the fourth, Florida had two runners on base with no outs. Kistler swung at a fast pitch heading down from the heart of the plate and sent it over the right field wall for her first home run of the season. The three-run homer extended the Gators lead to 8-0.

Defensively, freshman right-handed pitcher Keagan Rothrock found the pitching zone delivering six strikeouts, four groundouts and two flyouts.

UNF broke Rothrock’s perfect game with an infield single right behind the circle at the bottom of the fifth, but that’s all they could get across the plate. 

Freshman left-handed pitcher Olivia Miller subbed in to close out the fifth inning with a strikeout and two groundouts.

Next up, the Gators will play a doubleheader Friday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in the T-mobile Tournament. UF will face the Colgate Raiders at 3 p.m. and Lafayette College at 5:30 p.m.

Contact Hailey Hurst at hhurst@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @haileyjhurst.

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Hailey Hurst

Hailey Hurst is a second-year journalism major with a focus in sports media and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and cheering for Miami sports teams.


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