Gators Drop Series to Alabama
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gator Softball lost to Alabama, 7-0, on Sunday (March 23) in the deciding game of the teams’ three-game set at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.
The Crimson Tide opened the scoring with a three-run home run in the top of the first. The Gators (30-4, 5-4 SEC) got leadoff singles from Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) in the first and Bailey Castro(Pembroke Pines, Fla.) in the second, and had an additional baserunner in each frame, but UF was unable to push across a run. The two singles marked the only hits in the contest for the Orange and Blue.
Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.) replaced starter Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) in the circle during the third inning, and held the Tide without a run through the fourth before allowing an RBI single in the fifth that increased the Alabama lead to 4-0. The Crimson Tide added three more runs in the sixth on a Gator error, an RBI double and a run-scoring single, producing the final margin in Alabama’s 7-0 victory.
· Stewart’s single to lead off the game for UF stretched her reached-base streak to 34 games; the sophomore has reached in every Gators game this season, and is now just three games shy of the all-time UF record within a single season (37 games, Michelle Moultrie, 2011).
· UF dropped a series for the first time since losing two of three to Alabama on the final weekend of the 2012 regular season.
· The Gators’ two hits tied a season-low (2x, also: Friday vs. Alabama).
· Florida was shut out for just the second time in 34 games this season (also: March 7 vs. Ole Miss).
· Alabama’s seven runs are the most by a UF opponent this year.
· Sunday’s game drew 1,783 fans for a weekend total of 5,628 for the three games.
Head Coach Tim Walton
On what the team has to do to get better after this weekend:
“We’ve got improve quite a few different things. We’ve got to get better at locating our pitches, No. 1. We’re going to have to get better with runners in scoring position, No. 2. We’ve got to get better at two-out hitting, No. 3, and we’re going to have to get better at being able to overcome game obstacles and life obstacles. That’s the nature of the game. Not everything bounces your way. You just have to improve on that stuff.”
On whether the midweek game against UCF will help the team move on from this series:
“Potentially. We’re going to go face a good UCF team and a good pitcher who has pitched really well against us. We’ll see. I think anytime you can get out and play in the middle of the week, it breaks up the practice monotony. It always helps.”
On facing Tennessee next weekend:
“As we recognized when the schedule came out, we’re facing some of the better teams in the league right away. That’s just the league. SEC softball is great top to bottom. You’ve just got to be ready to play and be able to make adjustments and get over things quickly, whether they’re good or bad. You just improve on things.”
Senior 3B Stephanie Tofft
On what Alabama pitcher Jaclyn Traina did to make it so hard to get hits:
“She’s a good pitcher. She throws hard for sure. I think we just had trouble making adjustments in the box. It just wasn’t a good weekend for us. Hopefully we can come back next week and come strongWednesday too.”
On her long fly balls Friday and today off Traina that almost left the park:
“It was kind of a bummer. Definitely Friday, I was [excited], and then it’s like ‘oh, game’s over.’ I don’t think I got a hit all weekend, so it was definitely rough. There were some other people hitting yesterday, so it was great to have other teammates hitting. Friday and today just weren’t our days. We just didn’t have balls falling in the holes or anything like that. Hopefully next game we get going.”
On getting down early both Friday and today:
“It’s always tough to come back, with a good pitcher especially. It’s just tough coming back after getting down in the first inning right away. We can do it for sure, but it’s definitely tough against a good pitcher.”
On what the team will do to regroup:
“Work hard in practice. I’m coming in tomorrow to take some extra swings, for sure. I’m sure everybody will be. After this weekend, I’m not happy with my swings, so I will be coming in to do extra work. I’m sure everybody on the team will. Our team works, so I’m sure everybody will be doing their own work and getting better in the cages.”
FOLLOW THE GATORS
The Gators travel Wednesday (March 26) to Orlando, where they will face UCF at 6 p.m. ET. The game was added to the schedule to partially make up for the two contests that were rained out on Feb. 23 during the final day of the Lipton Invitational. Radio coverage will be available on WGGG (1230 AM).
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