UF’s Skylar Wallace voted SEC Player of the Year, Gators fall to top-seed Vols in tourney quarters

Florida drops to 36-20 overall, awaits NCAA destination
The University of Florida's Skylar Wallace during The UCF Knights Classic softball tournament...
The University of Florida's Skylar Wallace during The UCF Knights Classic softball tournament on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Terrance Coakley)(Terrance Coakley | AP)
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 1:49 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2023 at 1:59 PM EDT
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (WCJB) -The Gators may have the best softball player in the Southeastern Conference, but the Tennessee Volunteers showed on Friday why they’re the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Florida fell to Tennessee for the fourth time this season, 4-0, ending its SEC Tournament run in the quarterfinal round.

Rylee Trlicek started in the circle for the Gators and went four innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. UT struck in the bottom of the first on Lair Beautae’s RBI single.

But the pivotal moment came in the bottom of the second, when a fielding error by Charla Echols with two outs put a runner on first base for Kiki Milloy, who blasted her SEC-leading 22nd home run of the season to extend the Volunteers’ lead to 3-0.

Florida managed little offense against Tennessee starter Ashley Rogers, who came into the game leading the SEC with a 0.76 ERA. The Gators ended the game with three hits, two by Kendra Falby as Rogers finished with seven strikeouts in a complete game.

Earlier on Friday, UF’s Skylar Wallace was voted SEC Player of the Year, becoming the seventh Gator chosen for that award and the first since Amanda Lorenz in 2018. Wallace leads the SEC in batting average (.460), slugging (1.052), total bases (142) and triples (8) while ranking second in homers (19) and stolen bases (30). Wallace also plays stellar defense at shortstop.

Echols was also chosen for the All-SEC First Team, while Falby and inifielder Reagan Walsh were voted to the Second Team. Florida will learn its NCAA Tournament destination on Sunday.

SEC End Of Season Awards

Player of the Year: Skylar Wallace, Florida

Pitcher of the Year: Maddie Penta, Auburn

Freshman of the Year: Karlyn Pickens, Tennessee

Coach of the Year: Karen Weekly, Tennessee

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