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Monday, May 20, 2024

Florida softball clinch comeback victory to win series against Mississippi State

The Gators scored three runs in the seventh to win 7-6

UF shortstop Skylar Wallace rounds the bases in the Gators' 8-7 win against the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday, April 15, 2023.
UF shortstop Skylar Wallace rounds the bases in the Gators' 8-7 win against the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday, April 15, 2023.

The Florida softball team evened a three-game series against Mississippi State Friday. A decisive rubber match took place Saturday.

The Gators trailed by two entering the seventh inning but had the top of the lineup due up.

Redshirt senior shortstop Skylar Wallace smashed a triple through the first baseman’s legs to the right field wall. From first base, junior center fielder Kendra Falby’s speed allowed her to score to make it a one run game.

 With one out, sophomore catcher Jocelyn Erickson blasted a two-run home run to the parking lot down the right field line to put the Gators on top 7-6.

No. 10 Florida (31-5, 7-2 SEC) defeated the No.17 Mississippi State Bulldogs (21-13,1-8 SEC) 7-6 to remain undefeated in SEC series play.

Mississippi State took the initial lead in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back singles followed by a single to left field drove the first run home. Then, a hit by pitch loaded the bases for MSU.

Starting in the circle, freshman right-handed pitcher Keagan Rothrock allowed a walk to extend the Bulldogs lead to 2-0. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman pitcher Ava Brown entered and forced a flyout to strand the runners.

Florida had a slow start offensively and recorded only three hits through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, junior infielder Reagan Walsh reached via a walk, and Brown drove her home with her third home run of the series.

The 3-2 deficit was short lived as the Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of the fourth. The bases were loaded for the third time in the game and Rothrock entered back in the circle with no outs.

A sacrifice fly to center field scored the third base runner. With two outs, MSU freshman outfielder Ella Wesolowski doubled to center field to extend the lead to 6-2.

The Gators fought back to cut the Bulldogs lead to 6-4 in the top of the fifth via a sacrifice fly and a steal at home on an infield single.

Rothrock had control for Florida through the final three innings, recording three strikeouts and allowing one hit. The top of the seventh was the difference maker for the Gators to clinch the rubber match

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Next, Florida will remain on the road to face Stetson for the second time this season at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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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