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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Florida suffers first run-rule loss of season to Michigan

Michigan defeated the Gators 10-2 in five innings

Gators freshman third baseman Ariel Kowalewski gets prepared to field the ball in the team's loss to Oklahoma State on Monday, February 19, 2024.
Gators freshman third baseman Ariel Kowalewski gets prepared to field the ball in the team's loss to Oklahoma State on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Coming into the Gators softball game against the Michigan Wolverines Saturday, the Florida pitching staff had a combined ERA of 0.51. Despite four run-rule victories in two days throughout the Judi Garman Classic, the Wolverines defense reversed the odds on Florida.

Michigan’s pitchers, freshman Erin Hoehn and junior Lauren Derowski, held Florida to seven hits through five innings.

The No.13 Gators (19-3) fell to the Michigan Wolverines (11-9) 10-2 on the final day of the Judi Garman Classic at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, California.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Ava Brown started in the circle for Florida, and it was the opposite of a successful day in the circle. Michigan came out strong offensively in the bottom half of the first with back-to-back singles.

With two runners on base and one out, Michigan senior first baseman Keke Tholl delivered a double to left center field to put the first run on the board.

The Wolverines added two more runs on a throwing error from junior second baseman Reagan Walsh, who hesitated a throw to home plate.

Head coach Tim Walton and Florida’s infielders went to the circle for a quick chat. Then, sophomore catcher Jocelyn Erickson caught a runner at second stealing, but the runner at third stole home. Brown then delivered a strikeout to get out of the inning.

Walsh and redshirt senior Baylee Goddard threatened the Wolverines in the top of the second inning with back-to-back singles. However, Michigan worked itself out of the jam, retiring the next three Gators hitters.

Freshman left-handed pitcher Olivia Miller subbed in the bottom of the third to limit the Michigan offense, but even Miller had no answers to the Wolverine batters. Michigan exploded for a six-run inning on six hits.

Hoehn smashed a one-out, bases-cleared double to the left-center gap to extend its lead to 9-0.

Florida plated two runs on the board in the fifth after Goddard and freshman third baseman Ariel Kowalewski cut the deficit down to 10-2. Though, Derowski ended the frame with a strikeout, handing Florida its first run-rule loss of the season 10-2.

Next, the Gators will head to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama in a three-game series to open SEC play. Game 1 is at 3 p.m. March 9.

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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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