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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Florida softball defeats Texas A&M to clinch a spot in SEC Championship

Mia Williams crushed a three-run home run

Gators softball pitcher Keagan Rothrock does the Gator chomp before the team's game against Oklahoma State on Monday, February 19, 2024.
Gators softball pitcher Keagan Rothrock does the Gator chomp before the team's game against Oklahoma State on Monday, February 19, 2024.

After a quarterfinal win over Georgia early Friday afternoon, the Florida softball team looked to continue its offensive production in the Semifinals against Texas A&M. 

SEC Freshman of the Year recipient Keagan Rothrock took control in the circle for Florida for the second time in the day. She recorded six strikeouts and allowed just five hits.

The freshman’s performance helped lead the Gators (45-12, 19-7 SEC) to a 7-3 victory over the Aggies (40-13) in Auburn, Alabama, and secured their championship spot in the SEC Tournament.

UF freshman second baseman Mia Williams opened the scoring for Florida in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on first and second, Williams drove a drop ball off the center field scoreboard for a three-run home run.

With two outs, junior left fielder Korbe Otis singled to center field, and redshirt senior Skylar Wallace sent a two-run home run out to right-center field to extend Florida’s lead to 5-0.

Rothrock recorded four strikeouts to retire the first three innings in order 1-2-3, before the Aggies scored a pair of unearned runs via a throwing error and cut the deficit to 5-2.

With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Texas A&M added one run off an RBI single up center field.

Rothrock and the Gators’ defense bounced back and retired the side 1-2-3 to keep the Aggies scoreless in the top of the sixth inning. Florida struck back offensively in the bottom half of the inning.

With two outs, Otis and Wallace drew back-to-back walks. Sophomore catcher Jocelyn Erickson stepped up to the plate in familiar territory. She clutched a two-run double to left center field and extended the lead to 7-3.

In the final inning, Rothrock led off with her sixth strikeout of the game. Wallace caught an infield pop up, and Kistler ended the frame with a flyout to right field. Rothrock's teammates stormed the field to celebrate the freshman’s complete game.

Next, Florida will face the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Tournament Championship in Auburn, Alabama, Saturday afternoon.

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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