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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gators softball takes home its sixth SEC Championship Title

Mia Williams scored her fifth home run of the season

Florida right-handed pitcher Ava Brown subbed in the fifth inning during the Gators’ 8-0 win over UIC, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024.
Florida right-handed pitcher Ava Brown subbed in the fifth inning during the Gators’ 8-0 win over UIC, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024.

Gators freshman infielder Mia Williams gave it her all Saturday as she helped her team reign as the 2024 SEC Champions. 

With no runs scored in the first inning, the freshman stepped up to the plate at the bottom of the second, looking for a trace of momentum. As her eyes met the ball, she swung her bat effortlessly and propelled the ball deep into the center field over the scoreboard. 

Williams scored a three-run home run, a spark the Gators carried with them until the final moments of the seventh inning. 

The No. 2-seeded Florida Gators (45-12, 17-7 SEC) defeated the No. 5-seeded Missouri Tigers (43-14, 13-11 SEC) 6-1 Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Alabama, for its tenth appearance in the SEC Championship. 

UF freshman right-handed pitcher Keagan Rothrock started in the circle for the Gators. She managed to keep Missouri scoreless with three up and three down in the top of the first inning. 

Florida redshirt senior shortstop Skylar Wallace hit a double to right field, landing a spot on second base, but a groundout from sophomore catcher Jocelyn Erickson wasn't enough to bring her home. Both teams remained scoreless through the first inning. 

Rothrock carried her fiery momentum into the second inning when she struck out her first batter of the game, Tigers junior catcher Julia Crenshaw in a scoreless 1-2-3 inning. 

Mia Williams scored her fifth home run of the season as she launched the ball over the scoreboard for a three run homer. Williams scored both freshman utility player Ariel Kowlaewski and senior outfielder Katie Kistler to put UF in the lead 3-0 at the bottom of the second. 

Junior Korbe Otis tripled to right center field making her way to third. Wallace brought Otis home when she reached on a fielding error, pushing the Gators lead to 4-0 to end the third. 

The Tigers scored their first run of the game in the top of the fourth off a fly out from freshman catcher Stefania Abruscato where she brought senior infielder Maddie Gallagher home. Missouri freshman right-handed pitcher Marissa McCann kept the Gators from scoring any runs and adding to their overall lead to end the fourth. 

Rothrock picked up a pair of strikeouts and left a runner stranded on second to end the top of the fifth in another scoreless frame. Junior outfielder Kendra Falby singled to left field and advanced to second off a fielding error. 

Wallace hit a home run deep into center field and drove Falby home for a two run home run to extend the Gators’ lead to 6-1 at the end of the fifth. Both teams remained scoreless through the sixth inning. 

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A double play from senior first baseman Avery Goelz closed out the game for the Gators in the top of the seventh and reigned Florida as the 2024 SEC Champions with a 6-1 victory over Missouri. 

Next, UF will compete in the NCAA Regionals May 17-19. The Gators will find out who they play after the NCAA selection show airs May 12. 

Contact Alyssa Britton-Harr at Follow her on X @abrittonharr.

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Alyssa Britton-Harr

Alyssa Britton-Harr is a second-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spending time with her friends. 

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