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Monday, May 20, 2024

Florida softball falls to USF in first midweek loss of the season

The Bulls defeated the Gators 7-4

The Florida softball team during a mound visit in its game against the LSU Tigers on Sunday, April 7, 2024.
The Florida softball team during a mound visit in its game against the LSU Tigers on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

Coming off its fourth consecutive series win against LSU, the Florida softball team was riding high after knocking off the fifth-ranked Tigers.

However, an explosive six-run frame was all the South Florida Bulls (28-15) needed to upset  No. 9 Florida (34-7, 9-3 SEC) and hand them its first midweek loss of the season at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, Wednesday.

The first three innings were scoreless as both teams fought back-and-forth, refusing to give up a run. UF freshman right-handed pitcher Ava Brown led the way in the circle, giving up four hits and striking out two.

In the top of the second inning, the Bulls offense threatened with two hits and capitalized off of a fielding error to load the bases. Though, Brown kept her calm and recorded a strikeout and popup to keep South Florida scoreless.

Florida loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth and senior right fielder Katie Kistler broke the scoreless tie. On a full count, Kistler drove two runners home on a single down the first base line. Brown followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to extend the lead to 3-0.

But Brown lost control in the sixth. South Florida’s offense put up an explosive sixth inning, recording six runs on four hits. The bases became loaded on two hit-by-pitches and a single, forcing head coach Tim Walton to bring in freshman pitcher Keagan Rothrock.

Rothrock has had positive contributions in the circle all season, but she struggled in her outing. A single scored the runner from third for the Bulls’ first run of the game. USF senior first baseman Merissa Trivelpiece followed with a double to the right field wall, tying the score 3-3.

Back-to-back walks and a single added three more runs for the Bulls. With two outs, UF freshman left-handed pitcher Olivia Miller entered the circle to help end the frame.

The Gators had an opportunity to add runs with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth. However, USF redshirt sophomore pitcher Payton Dixon forced two foul flyouts to silence the Florida fans.

Kistler led off with a triple to the right field wall and Falby drove her home with a left-field single to cut the deficit to 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth.

With one last chance in the seventh, fans attempted to help Florida begin a late rally. Despite Otis leading off with a single, USF’s defense delivered a double play to secure the win. 

Next, Florida will head on the road to take on the No. 14 Missouri Tigers in a three-game series. Game 1 is Friday at 6 p.m.

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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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