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No. 8 Florida softball run-ruled by No. 7 Arkansas in series opener

Gators three errors lead to seven unearned runs for Arkansas
Bases-clearing double sparks Razorback rally past UF
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 11:14 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A top-10 matchup in college softball started out as a pitcher’s duel, but ended in a run-rule victory for the visiting team.

No. 8 Florida (35-10) committed three errors to surrender seven unearned runs to No. 7 Arkansas (33-8), as the Razorbacks run-ruled the Gators to take their Southeastern Conference series opener.

Elizabeth Hightower (12-3) was solid through four innings of work for the orange and blue. Hightower struck out seven Hogs, including retiring the side, in order, on strikes to end the top of the 4th.

However, in the top of the 5th, Florida second baseman Sam Roe couldn’t handle a one hopper, that practically came right to her, which allowed Audrie LaValley to safely stay at first with no outs. The very next batter, Cally Kildow, grounded right back to Hightower, but the veteran pitcher threw the ball away to put LaValley at third and Kildow advanced to second.

With two on and no outs, KB Sides singled through the left side to bring home LaValley and give Arkansas a 1-0 lead.

After Hightower walked Hannah McEwen to load the bases, then got Taylor Ellsworth to pop out, she left a pitch over the middle of the plate that Danielle Gibson jumped all over, driving it to the gap in right center field. The shot in the gap brought home all three base runners, increasing the Razorbacks advantage to 4-0.

Before the end of the frame, the Hogs would add one more run off a Linnie Malkin rbi single. It went from 0-0 to 5-0 in the blink of an eye.

Florida didn’t score any runs in the home-half of the inning, and, then, gave up four more runs in the top of the 6th.

Haley Pittman issued a walk to Ellsworth with the bases loaded to move the deficit to 6-0. Then, Roe committed another error to allow a pair of runs to score, making it 8-0. The final Arkansas run came across, courtesy of another Malkin single.

Florida did manage to score one run in the bottom of the 6th as Kendra Falby drove in Skylar Wallace with an rbi single, but once the third out of the inning was recorded the Razorbacks won by run-rule.

Florida will try and win the middle game of the series on Saturday to force a decisive game three on Sunday.

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