Softball Falls In Series Opener Against Mizzou
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The No. 3/5 Gator Softball team suffered its first loss since April 2, falling 5-3 to No. 15/17 Missouri on Friday (April 25) at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium. Florida (41-9, 11-8 SEC) scored three runs in the seventh inning, but could not overcome the Tigers (37-12, 13-6 SEC). Senior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) took the loss to fall to 21-7 on the season, allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits over seven innings, with no walks and three strikeouts.
Rogers allowed a pair of one-out singles in the first, but got a flyout to left and a groundout to shortstop to strand both runners. The Gators were retired in order in the bottom of the frame. Both teams went down in order in the second.
In the third, a Florida error and a single gave Missouri two baserunners with no outs, and the Tigers plated the game’s first run on a single and another Gator miscue. The visitors added a second run on a groundout, taking a 2-0 lead. The Gators were retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
The Orange and Blue dispatched Missouri in order in the fourth inning. Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) hit a two-out single up the middle to give the Gators their first hit of the game, but she was stranded. The Tigers added three runs in the fifth on a two-run double and an RBI single.
Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) walked to start the bottom of the fifth, but she was stranded. Rogers logged a 1-2-3 sixth, including her third strikeout of the game. The Gators were retired in order before Missouri started the seventh inning with two singles; both runners were left on base. Florida rallied in the bottom of the inning, starting with a leadoff homer to left from Tofft. Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) singled with two outs to set up a two-run home run by Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) that cut the deficit to 5-3. The Gators would get no closer, as the next batter fouled out to end the game.
· The loss snapped Florida’s winning streak at 10 games, the Gators’ longest since they opened the season with 22 consecutive wins.
· Tofft homered for the fourth straight SEC game.
· The senior extended her hitting streak to five games; she is batting .625 (10x16) over that span with nine runs scored, a double, four home runs, 12 RBI and a stolen base.
· The third baseman recorded her 12th multi-hit game of the season, tying Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) for second on the team (Kelsey Stewart – 20).
· Fuller logged her eighth multi-RBI game of the season, which ranks fifth on the Gators.
· Nine of the sophomore’s 16 hits this season are home runs.
· Little extended her hitting streak to seven games, dating back to April 11; the junior is batting .455 (10x22) over that span with eight runs scored, two doubles, one home run, eight RBI and a stolen base.
· Rogers recorded her sixth start without a walk this season.
Head Coach Tim Walton
On the adjustments that led to the Gators scoring three runs in the seventh inning:
“I think the timing was better at the end. Our timing wasn’t very good to start the game.”
On how Florida can use the late rally to build confidence for Saturday’s game:
“We have a good hitting team, and good hitters make adjustments. They’ll figure some things out and get themselves to a better time and a better place tomorrow.”
Sophomore UT Taylore Fuller
On what Missouri did to contain the Florida offense:
“You have to give credit to the pitcher; she was hitting her spots. She kept us on our toes. We made adjustments, but it just happened to be too late.”
On what needs to change going into tomorrow:
“We are still going to be ourselves. We’re going to make little adjustments, obviously, but we are going to come out and play hard. As long as we do that, things usually fall our way.”
On if the late rally gives the Gators some momentum for Saturday’s game:
“It makes us feel better going into tomorrow. We’re going to make our adjustments, and hopefully we can feed off that going into tomorrow.”
FOLLOW THE GATORS
The series against Missouri continues Saturday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for Senior Day festivities before the game. GatorVision will have live video for subscribers. Radio coverage will be provided on WGGG (1230-AM), with Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call. In addition, fans can access Gametracker on the GatorZone.com schedule page to view live stats.
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