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Aubree Munro had four hits and two RBI on Friday as the Gators defeated Illinois State and Wisconsin.

Friday February 7, 2014Gators Earn 800th All-Time Win in Doubleheader Sweep

Tampa, Fla.

Aubree Munro had four hits and two RBI on Friday as the Gators defeated Illinois State and Wisconsin.

BOX SCORE – Game 1 (Illinois State)

BOX SCORE – Game 2 (Wisconsin)

 

Gator Softball swept a pair of games Friday at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament, defeating Illinois State 3-2 and beating Wisconsin 5-3. The victory over the Redbirds marked the 800th win in program history.   

 

Sophomore Taylor Schwarz gave Florida an early lead over the Redbirds when she hit the Gators’ first home run of 2014 next to the batting cages beyond left field. Illinois State responded in the fourth with a leadoff double, then plated its first run on a well-placed bunt single that allowed the runner to score from second. Five straight Florida batters reached base in the bottom of the frame, and the Gators added their second run when Aubree Munro singled to score Schwarz, who had reached base on a fielder’s choice.

 

Florida plated what proved to be the winning run the next inning as sophomore Kirsti Merritt doubled home leadoff hitter Kelsey Stewart. Gators starter Lauren Haeger ran into trouble in the seventh after allowing just three hits through the first six innings, walking two batters and hitting another. UF Head Coach Tim Walton called on freshman Delanie Gourley in her collegiate debut, and Gourley delivered. Entering with the bases loaded and no outs, Gourley allowed just one run on a sacrifice fly by her first batter. The lefty ended the game with a flourish, striking out the last two Redbird hitters to earn the save.

 

In the Gators’ second game, Wisconsin got on the board first with a solo home run by shortstop Stephanie Peace. Florida’s Hannah Rogers and the Badgers’ Taylor-Paige Stewart traded scoreless frames for four innings.

 

Munro came up with another clutch hit in the sixth, singling home Schwarz again to tie the game at 1. UF’s rally continued the next inning when Briana Little drew a leadoff walk. Two batters later, Merritt came up with another clutch hit, bringing Little home with a triple. After Stephanie Tofft walked, Haeger’s sac fly scored Merritt and Schwarz provided the Gators’ second triple of the frame. Taylore Fuller reached on an error by the Wisconsin third baseman that allowed Schwarz to score, but Fuller was called for interference on the next play.

 

The Gators’ late two-inning rally provided a cushion for Rogers, who allowed two runs in the seventh but held on to earn her second complete-game victory in as many days, following Thursday’s win over USF.

 

NOTABLES

·         The win over Illinois State marked the 800th victory in Florida Softball history.

·         The Gators’ all-time record now stands at 801-349.

·         Under ninth-year Head Coach Tim Walton, the Gators are 440-102.

·         With today’s results, Florida and Illinois State now have split four meetings in their all-time series, while the Gators extended their edge over Wisconsin to 3-1.  

·         Taylor Schwarz led off the second inning of the Illinois State game with a home run, Florida’s first of 2014. Schwarz hit nine home runs last season to rank fourth on the team.

·         Aubree Munro doubled twice in the Illinois State game after recording five extra-base hits all of last season.

 

WALTON’S WORDS

On Munro’s play during the season’s first three games:

“I’m really happy with the way Aubree Munro has started the season off. Aubree had a really good offseason, a really good fall and into the early part of this spring. She’s doing a great job in the weight room and getting a lot more confidence. She’s really been swinging the bat well, and I’m happy with the way she’s come through with some nice early-season clutch hits.”

 

On the pitching staff:

“We have plenty of confidence in our pitching rotation plan for this weekend, and we’ve stuck with it so far. It’s been really good. Obviously, give the pitchers credit, because they’ve really executed, getting the two complete games out of Hannah (Rogers) and then Lauren (Haeger) going into the seventh. I’m happy for the way they’re going out and making pitches. They’re really not getting hit too hard, and they’re not giving up too many runs.”

 

On how the team needs to play against Michigan on Saturday:

“I think when you play somebody of Michigan’s caliber [who is] coming off a College World Series run, they’ve got a really good coaching staff and pitching staff. We’ve got to do the same things we always do: Focus on ourselves, get a little bit better at some of our mental mistakes, but really just play our kind of softball.”

 

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UP NEXT

Florida is back on the diamond Saturday with a game against No. 4/5 Michigan. Fans can tune in to ESPN 850 to listen to the contest.

 

-UF-

 

 

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