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Florida opened the 2014 campaign with a 10-3 win over USF.

Thursday February 6, 2014Gators Open 2014 Season With 10-3 Win Over USF

Tampa, Fla.

Florida opened the 2014 campaign with a 10-3 win over USF.



TAMPA, Fla. – Gator Softball began the 2014 season with a 10-3 win over USF Thursday night (Feb. 6) at USF Softball Stadium. The game was delayed by rain for 25 minutes in the third inning. USF got on the board first with a solo home run from Ta’cola Williams in the first inning, but the Gators stormed back with seven runs in the fourth inning to chase All-American Sara Nevins. Florida added three more runs in the sixth, but USF extended the game with two runs in its half of the sixth.  


UF ace Hannah Rogers began her senior season with a strong effort against the Bulls, pitching a complete game and striking out six batters with no walks. Rogers allowed a triple to USF’s Kourtney Salvarola in the third, but worked out of the jam and wasn’t tested again until the sixth. On offense, the Gators did not have any extra-base hits, but five singles combined with 11 walks and five hit batters allowed Florida to be patient at the plate. Briana Little, Kelsey Stewart, Kirsti Merritt and Taylor Schwarz all recorded RBI singles in the fourth while Schwarz earned an RBI on a hit-by-pitch and Aubree Munro brought in a run with a sac fly in the sixth.



·         With the win, Florida improves to 8-1 in season-opening games under Head Coach Tim Walton, including eight straight wins.

·         The Gators sent 12 batters to the plate during their seven-run fourth inning.

·         Freshman outfielder Justine McLean scored her first collegiate run after drawing a walk in the fourth.

·         Sophomore second baseman Kelsey Stewart logged the Gators’ first stolen base of the season; Stewart led Florida with 36 steals last season.

·         Florida tallied five hits on the night, all singles.

·         The Gators were hit by five pitches from USF hurlers, including two HBPs each by Kirsti Merritt and Taylor Schwarz.

·         The Orange and Blue have scored 16 runs in their last 3 games against Nevins dating back to last season’s NCAA Regional.



“I was really happy with the way we came out to play tonight. When you’re facing a team like South Florida, as good as they are, and you’re facing one of the best pitchers in the country, I thought our bats were really good. Overall, I think it was not our best performance, but we’re not measuring our best performance; we’re just trying to get W’s every single game. When you look at it, we had 11 walks and five hit-by-pitches; that’s 16 free bases. We had really solid plate discipline.”



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Florida returns to action Friday with a doubleheader against Illinois State and Wisconsin. First pitch for the ISU game is scheduled for 11 a.m., with the game against the Badgers to follow at approximately 1:15 p.m.





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