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Monday, May 20, 2024

Florida State uses explosive fifth inning to defeat Florida softball

The Seminoles defeated the Gators 12-3

Florida softball's Kendra Falby is called out during the team's 12-3 loss to Florida State on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.
Florida softball's Kendra Falby is called out during the team's 12-3 loss to Florida State on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

The stands were filled with loud fans from both Florida State and Florida celebrating Taylor Swift night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, Wednesday. 

The Gators faced the Seminoles for the first time, and the crowd's energy was high as Florida held a 2-0 lead through the first four innings. However, in the top of the fifth, the Gators' odds were flipped.

Florida fans were quieted as the Seminoles delivered an explosive fifth inning, recording 12 runs on eight hits.  

“It’s one game,” head coach Tim Walton said. “It’s not uncommon for a younger team at times to have a bad inning.” 

The 12-run frame is all the Seminoles (37-10) needed to defeat the Gators (36-11) 12-3.

In the bottom of the second, sophomore catcher Jocelyn Erickson was hit by a pitch, and freshman Ava Brown drove her home on a double to center field for the first run of the game. 

UF junior infielder Reagan Walsh extended the lead to 2-0 with a moonshot over the left-center field wall. She got the crowd on its feet, as she recorded her 15th home run of the season.

In the circle, freshman Ava Brown had a solid early start, allowing just one hit through four innings. However, the Gators defense fell apart in FSU’s explosive fifth inning. 

“She’s a competitor,” Walton said. “I think this was a good step in the right direction for her, heading into this weekend.”  

The Gators attempted a late rally in the bottom half of the fifth. Redshirt senior Skylar Wallace walked and Walsh drove her home with a single to center field. But Seminoles freshman pitcher Ashtyn Danley recorded a strikeout and ground out to earn the run-rule victory.

“We’ll make some adjustments and do what we have to do,” Walton said. “I’ll take ownership tonight in not being prepared in the fifth and not playing good softball.”

Next, Florida will step back into SEC play with a three-game series against No. 11 Georgia. Game 1 is Friday at 6 p.m. at Jack Turner Softball Stadium.

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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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