No. 6 Florida Softball Takes Mid-Week Tilt Over No. 21 FSU, 9-1, in Six Innings
|Florida 9, Florida State 1
|Louisville 2, Kentucky 1
|Georgia 3, Tennessee 1
|Tennessee 2, Georgia 1
|LSU 6, Nicholls State 1
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida State-record 1,195 fans gathered at JoAnne Graf Field Wednesday to watch the Florida vs. Florida State softball Sunshine Showdown, a game the No. 6 Gators took 9-1 in six innings from the No. 21 Seminoles, enforcing the eight-run rule for the 13th time this season. The Orange and Blue improved to 32-4 overall on the season and 7-4 against Top-25 competition with the victory.
The Gators put up 11 hits for the second-consecutive game, including four doubles and two homers, scoring nine runs against FSU, the most the Seminoles (33-7) have allowed all season. For Florida, the run-rule victory marked its first since downing South Carolina in five March 16.
Wednesday's Florida-Florida State softball game was part of the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown Series. Presented by Fresh from Florida, its goal is to remind all fans of the importance of buying home grown and harvested products from Florida. It supports our state's farmers and fisherman, and our local economies.
Junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI to lead the Gators, while sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) was 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs to power UF's offensive efforts. Florida poured it on in the third, racking up two doubles and two homers for a six-hit, six-run third frame that all but put the game away for the Gators. Freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) knocked her first career homer donning the Orange and Blue as part of UF's third-inning splurge, finishing the day with three RBI.
Sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) started hot, fanning two of the first four batters she faced in the first frame, finishing the day with three strikeouts, while giving up just four FSU hits and walking two to improve to 18-2 in the circle this season for the Gators.
Coyle helped swing the Gators in to action, leading off the second with a base hit for the Orange and Blue, poking one through the left side to tie a season-best four-game hit streak. With two outs, junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) delivered a RBI double to plate Coyle and give the Gators a 1-0 lead early, increasing her team-leading reached-base streak to 14 games.
After a scoreless second frame for the home team, sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) turned over the lineup, reaching base for a fourth-consecutive game to set up a monster inning for the Orange and Blue. Next up, senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) laid down a bunt single for runners on first and second with no outs to set up S. Fagan's three-run dinger. With one out on the board after a FSU strikeout, Coyle struck with her third double of the season, roping one to left-center for her second in as many games, setting up UF's next blast from Horton, her team-leading 10th of the year, which extended the Florida lead, 6-0.
After a freshman Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) one-out walk, the Seminoles opted to trade starter Monica Perry for Lacey Waldrop in the circle. Gammel then reached on a fielder's choice, just before freshman Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) got in on the action, knocking her third double of the year to send Gammel scampering home for a 7-0 Gator advantage.
Florida State scratched a run across in the bottom of the fourth when Kelly Hensley connected for a RBI double down the left-field line, enabling Courtney Senas to scamper home from second for the Seminoles' lone run of the contest.
The Orange and Blue countered in the fifth, however, making it an 8-1 ballgame when Horton was able to score from third on FSU's third error of the match-up that allowed Medina to reach base. A groundout retired the side and a three up, three down inning for FSU in the bottom of the fifth brought up the sixth where the Gators put the game away for good on a Horton RBI double for a 9-1 Florida lead.
Rogers and the Gator defense retired the Seminoles in order in the bottom of the sixth to enforce the eight-run rule for the 13th time this season, winning 9-1 in Tallahassee. Perry was charged the loss for FSU, moving to 15-3 on the season.
Seventh-Inning Rally Falls Short at No. 12 Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky mounted a seventh-inning rally, but fell just shy with a 2-1 loss at the hands of No. 12 Louisville on Wednesday afternoon after rain in the area pushed the start time back 1.5 hours.
UK trailed by two runs going into its final at-bat. Freshman Griffin Joiner and senior Brittany Cervantes both notched walks to place two aboard to open the frame. An error by the Cardinals enabled senior Rachel Riley to load the bases with no outs.
Louisville forced two fielder’s choice plays with a chopper back to short and then one to first to get the runners going home to prevent a score. Pinch hitter Emily Gaines plated a score when she earned a walk on a 3-1 count to score the lone run. The game came to a close with the bases loaded with a fly ball to left field.
With the loss Kentucky drops to 16-20 on the season and the No. 12 Cardinals stretch their record to 30-2.
After the Wildcats dropped in order to open the first inning, the Cardinals jumped out in front with a tally in the home half of the frame. Louisville began the rally with a one-out single and the home team cashed in with a two-out, RBI double into left center to plate the score.
With Caralisa Connell keeping the Blue and White at bay in the first three innings the Cardinals added to their lead with another run in the home half of the third to go ahead 2-0. Louisville again benefited from an RBI double for the score.
UK notched a pair of hits in the top of the fourth with junior Kara Dill and Joiner both securing infield singles. Kentucky dropped in order to follow without advancing the runners any further.
Relief pitcher Chanda Bell worked around a two-out triple in the home half of the fifth to prevent further scoring from the home team. Bell stymied the Louisville offense with a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth to keep the Blue and White within striking distance going into the top of the seventh.
Sandberg’s Homerun Highlights Softball Split
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In a pair of games that saw extra innings and a one-hour, 16-minute rain delay, the No. 9/10 University of Georgia softball team split with the No. 10/9 Tennessee Lady Vols. Georgia took a 3-1, eight-inning win in game with before falling 2-1 in the nightcap. The Bulldogs are now 30-8 on the year, including a 9-5 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee moves to 28-9 and 10-6 in SEC play.
Game One – Georgia 3, Tennessee 1 (8 Innings) Paige Wilson delivered the game-winning single in the top of the 11th inning that allowed Georgia to take the first game of the double header 3-1. Anna Swafford opened the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double by Brittney Hubbard. With no outs and runners at second and third, Wilson laced a single through the right side that scored Swafford and gave Georgia its first lead of the game at 2-1. With Wilson at second and two outs, Ashley Razey provided some insurance with a single up the middle that scored Wilson and extended the Bulldog lead to 3-1.
Erin Arevalo allowed a single in the bottom of the 11th, but caught Madison Shipman swinging for the first out. The Georgia defense turned a double play to end the game and secure the 3-1 win.
Arevalo earned the complete-game win, allowing just one run on one hit. The senior also struck out nine in the win that moved her to 15-3 on the year. Ellen Renfroe took the loss to drop to 19-3 on the year, allowing three runs on four hits and four walks.
It was a pitcher’s dual for the early part of the game, as neither team was able to garner a hit. In the bottom of the third, Tennessee put runners at first and second, but Arevalo retired the final two batters to end the threat of a Lady Vol run.
The Lady Vols strung together a pair of hits in the bottom of the fourth, including a RBI-double by Melissa Brown that scored Lauren Gibson from second.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the top of the seventh, Sandberg picked up Georgia’s first hit of the game, a two-out home run to left center that tied the game at one. Arevalo retired the Tennessee side in order in the bottom of the frame, sending it into extra innings.
Tennessee picked up a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth, but a fielder’s choice wiped out the lead runner. Sandberg threw down to second to catch Gibson stealing for the final out of the inning.
Game Two – Tennessee 2, Georgia 1
Hubbard drove in the Georgia run in the second game of the doubleheader, but the Bulldogs were unable to come away with the win, falling 2-1.
Morgan Montemayor took the loss to fall to 8-4 on the season. Montemayor allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in a complete-game performance. She also struck out six batters.
Ivey Renfroe earned the complete-game win to move to 9-6 on the season. Renfroe allowed just one run on six hits and three walks, while striking out nine.
After a scoreless two-and-a-half innings and a 1:16 rain delay, Tennessee broke through with two runs in the bottom of the third. The Lady Vols put together three hits, including a two-run single to left center by Shipman that put Tennessee on top 2-0.
The Bulldogs pulled within one in the top of the sixth to make it a 2-1 game. Razey opened the inning with a walk, but pinch runner Tiesha Reed was called out on a fielder’s choice by Sandberg. Tess Sito singled through the left side, followed by a Gracie Goulder walk that loaded the bases. With one out, Hubbard hit a sacrifice fly that scored Sandberg for Georgia’s run.
Ashley Pauly kept Georgia alive in the top of the seventh inning, hitting a two-out single, but the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize, falling to the Lady Vols 2-1.
No. 24 Softball Pushes Streak to 12, Downs Nicholls State
BATON ROUGE – The No. 24 LSU softball team used a five-run fifth inning to extend its season’s best winning streak to 12 games and claimed a 6-1 victory over Nicholls State Wednesday at Tiger Park.
Seven of the nine starters for LSU (28-8) recorded hits highlighted by Ashleigh Kuhn and Kailey McCasland, who turned multi-hit performances. Kuhn and Juliana Santos collected two RBIs apiece.
“It’s nice to have an opportunity to play some people and get everybody prepared for a big weekend because you never know who we’ll have to call on this weekend,” head coach Beth Torina said. “It’s nice that they got in, and it’s nice that they hit some balls hard. All of them work equally as hard every day at practice, so it’s nice when they can get an opportunity.”
Tied 1-1 during the fifth inning, the Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate. Rikki Alcaraz ignited the rally and laced a leadoff double into the left centerfield gap. Three batters later with two outs, Ashley Langoni drew a four-pitch walk.
On a 0-1 offering, Santos ripped a RBI single to plate Alcaraz with the go-ahead run. Langoni came around to score to make it 3-1 on an error by Nicholls second baseman Ashley Bertot when she dropped a throw during a rundown attempting to get Santos out in between first and second base.
The Tigers continued the hit parade with Ashley Applegate’s single to place runners on second and third base. Kuhn smoked a two-run double into the right centerfield gap to push the LSU lead to 5-1. After a McCasland single put runners on the corners, Morgan Russell capped the frame with a RBI single to vault the Tigers ahead 6-1.
Meghan Patterson fired her third complete game in three starts and improved to 3-0 on the season. The sophomore right-hander was touched up for a first inning run on three hits. She found her rhythm and allowed only three hits the rest of the way. The Destrehan native tallied five strikeouts versus one walk.
“Meghan is a great pitcher herself and extremely talented,” Torina said. “She deserves more innings than we’re even able to give her because we’re trying to fight to give [Rachele Fico and Brittany Mack] so many innings. [Meghan Patterson] is the future of this program. I think early on in this game, she looked a little rusty. She hasn’t been on the mound and hasn’t seen hitters in a while. But she cleaned it up after the first inning and ended up with a pretty nice day.”
Nicholls tallied its lone run during the first inning on a Leah Andrus RBI single. The Tigers responded with the equalizer in the third inning. Langoni blasted a one-out triple off the right field fence and came around to score on a Santos sacrifice fly.
“Starting off, it’s always kind of hard, but you really have to go out there ready to pitch,” Patterson said. “I knew I had to settle down and get sharper with my pitches, so that actually really helped me with them scoring in the first inning.”