Late lead slips away for Florida softball team as No. 13 Gators lose to No. 4 Vols, 11-10

Skylar Wallace, Charla Echols, and Reagan Walsh all collected two hits for the Gators in defeat
University of Florida's Reagan Walsh (15) fires to first during an NCAA softball game on...
University of Florida's Reagan Walsh (15) fires to first during an NCAA softball game on Friday, Feb.10, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Kelly Sheehan)(Kelly Sheehan | AP)
Published: Apr. 23, 2023 at 10:16 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WCJB) -The No. 13 Florida softball team squandered a six-run lead on Sunday and fell to SEC-leading and No. 4 Tennessee, 11-10 in Knoxville. The Gators drop to 32-13 overall, 8-9 in the SEC, while the Volunteers scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to win their seventh in a row. They reach 37-5 overall, 15-2 in conference.

Florida had an outstanding start at the plate, scoring four runs on three hits and an error in the top of the first. Charla Echols, Reagan Walsh, and Sarah Longley all delivered RBI hits in the rally. Florida led 4-3 after one inning.

The Gators padded their lead in the top of the third on RBI singles by Skylar Wallace and Kendra Falby. After two more runs scored on an error in the top of the fifth, Florida led, 9-3. Wallace later added her 15th home run of the season and finished the night 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Tennessee chipped away, getting one back on Kiki Milloy’solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. But the Volunteers did most of their damage in the sixth.

Tennessee’s first eight batters of the inning all reached safely. Florida starter Rylee Trlicek allowed the first four hitters to reach, but left with a 9-7 lead and two runners on with no outs. Lexie Delbrey relieved her but was taken out after issuing a four-pitch walk. Then with Elizabeth Hightower in the circle, UT tied it on Milloy’s two-run double and took an 11-9 lead when Lair Beautae delivered a two-run single.

Florida looks to avoid the sweep on Monday night. First pitch is set for 7p.m.

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