GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior Brianna Hesson capped a four-run seventh with a three-run home run as third-ranked Georgia defeated second-ranked Florida, 10-7, in a Southeastern Conference showdown on Friday evening at Katie Seashole Pressley Stadium in front of crowd of 1,491.
Georgia (25-4, 6-3 SEC) built a 6-0 lead through the first four and a half innings, but Florida (30-2, 7-1 SEC) utilized four home runs to erase the deficit and take a one-run lead at 7-6 going into the seventh inning. In the final frame, senior Taylor Schlopy hit a one-out solo home run to tie the game. Two batters later with junior Ashley Pauly on second via a double and two outs, Florida elected to intentionally walk senior Alisa Goler to face Hesson. Hesson then came away the heroine for the Bulldogs by crushing the three-run home run to straight-away center.
Friday's victory for Georgia marked the Bulldogs first regular season victory over the Gators since 2006, and the 10 runs scored were the most Florida has surrendered this season. It was just the second loss of the year for UF.
Freshman Morgan Montemayor improved to 11-2 with the win after pitching two innings of scoreless one-hit relief while Florida's Ensley Gammel (0-1) took the loss after working a complete game for the Gators.
Georgia built the 6-0 lead with a run in the first and five in the fifth. In the first, Hesson provided the first of her four RBI with a two-out single through the left side. In the fifth, Georgia batted around for the 15th time this season to plate five runs. After the bases became full of Bulldogs, the first run of the inning scored on a wild pitch. Two batters later, junior Ashley Razey drove in a run on a single to center. Another wild pitch would plate a third Georgia run, and after two more walks in the frame, Schlopy notched a two-run double to left.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Gators rallied to tie the game at 6-6. Megan Bush and Cheyenne Coyle went back-to-back on a pair of solo home runs that led Georgia to remove starter Alison Owen in favor of Erin Arevalo. The Gators inning continued with a pair of base hits and Michelle Moultrie picking up an RBI as she reached on a fielder's choice. After Aja Paculba singled to put two Gators aboard, Georgia returned Owen to the circle to face Kelsey Bruder, who provided UF with three-run home run to right.
Bush came to the plate to lead off the sixth for the Gators and hit her second home run of the contest to put UF ahead at 7-6 and set up Georgia's seventh-inning comeback.
The three-game series continues Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET, and the contest will air live on Fox Sports Florida.