The No. 3
Florida Softball team improved to 46-2 on the season and 18-1 in Southeastern
Conference play on Sunday as it finished the series sweep of No. 17 Georgia (35-16,
8-9 SEC) with a 5-2 win.
offense set to work right away in the top of the first. Junior Kim Waleszonia
led off with a bunt single. Freshman Aja Paculba (Wildomar,
Calif.) took first on four straight balls from
pitcher Taylor Schlopy. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.)
scored both runners with a double to center for a 2-0 Gator lead.
recorded two more RBI to put Florida
up 4-0 in the top of the third. Paculba drew a lead
off walk on a full count. Gardiner followed with a home run to left, her sixth
of the season, to give the Gators the four run cushion.
Georgia threatened in its half of the
third, but the Florida
defense held strong to end the inning. Brianna Hesson
reached on a lead off base hit up the middle. She was put out at second on a
fielder’s choice play as sophomore third baseman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) fielded Sojourner Moody’s bunt and
connected with freshman short stop Megan
Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) at second. Schlopy
reached first as she was hit by a pitch. Megan Wiggins reached on a fielder’s
choice that left all runner’s safe and the bases
loaded. The Gators threw out Moody at home, but left Goler
safe at first on the fielder’s choice with the bases still loaded. Junior
pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos,
Calif.) took care of the lost out
herself as she fielded the Melissa Wood ground out near the first base line and
ran to tag Wood before she could get near the base.
Florida tacked on what would be its final
run in the top of the fourth. Brooks earned a double on a hit that took a crazy
spin at the edge of the infield. She moved to third on a Waleszonia
sacrifice bunt. Paculba dropped a base hit into right
field, scoring Brooks and putting the Gators up 5-0.
Georgia put its first run on the board in
the bottom of the fourth. Kristin Schnake led off the
inning with a bunt single. Victoria Sanders reached on a Gator error on an
attempted sacrifice bunt, allowing Schnake to move
all the way to third. Sanders and Florida
second baseman Paculba collided on the play and both
players went down, but both were able to get up and return to the game.
Christina Reed lined out to Gardiner at first and Gardiner caught Sanders too
far off the base for the double play. Hesson hit a
double to center to score Schnake and cut Florida’s lead to 5-1.
Bulldogs put up their second run in the fifth. Wiggins hit a one-out double to
right. Goler reached on a fielder’s choice and
advanced to second on the throw as the Gator defense put Wiggins out at third. A
base hit by Wood scored Goler for the final run of
the game for a 5-2 final score.
earned the win for Florida
to record her 30th win of the season. Schlopy pitched
the first 2.1 innings for Georgia,
giving up the first four Gator runs to take the loss and move to 0-4 on the
year. Kate Gaskill pitched the final 4.2 innings for
Florida will travel to Tallahassee
on Wednesday to face instate rival Florida
State in a doubleheader.
Game one is set to start at 4 p.m. and will be televised live on SunSports. Both games of the doubleheader