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Stephanie Tofft drove in seven runs in Florida's wins over Ohio State and Cal State Northridge.

Saturday February 15, 2014Gators Reach 10-0 With Sweep of Ohio State, Cal State Northridge

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Stephanie Tofft drove in seven runs in Florida's wins over Ohio State and Cal State Northridge.

BOX SCORE—Game 1 (Ohio State)

BOX SCORE—Game 2 (Cal State Northridge)

 

Gator Softball earned two more wins at the Easton Desert Classic on Saturday, defeating Ohio State 19-2 (5 innings) and beating Cal State Northridge 6-0.

 

Florida (10-0) capitalized on its opportunities from the start against the Buckeyes as three first-inning hits combined with a walk to give the Gators an early 2-0 lead. The Orange and Blue erupted in the second for 15 runs on nine hits, and benefited from two Buckeye errors in the frame.

 

The offensive onslaught began with three straight singles from Katie Medina, Justine McLean and Kelsey Stewart. Kirsti Merritt reached on an error by the OSU shortstop. After the Gators got three free bases on two walks and a hit-by-pitch, Aubree Munro hit an RBI single. A bases-loaded walk and a McLean single continued the rally, and the Gators cashed in on a Buckeye wild pitch to bring up the top of the order.

 

Continuing the scoring burst, Stewart walked to set up an RBI single by Merritt before Lauren Haeger delivered a double with the bases loaded to bring in two more runs. After Taylore Fuller walked to re-load the bases, Stephanie Tofft belted a grand slam to finish the scoring in the 15-run inning.

 

The teams traded zeros in the third before Ohio State got to Delanie Gourley for two runs in the fourth on an RBI double to right and an RBI single up the middle. The Gators matched the Buckeyes in the bottom of the frame when Chelsea Herndon drove in two runs on a single through the hole at second to produce the final margin. Alyssa Bache allowed two walks in the fifth but halted the OSU threat to give the Gators the mercy-rule win. Gourley (3-0) extended her winning streak to three games to begin her UF career.

 

Against Cal State Northridge, the Gators were held scoreless for two innings before Stewart tripled in the third to score McLean, who had reached on an error. Merritt brought Stewart home on a sacrifice fly to put Florida ahead 2-0.

 

Haeger and Taylor Schwarz added solo home runs in the fifth and sixth innings, and Tofft drove in two runs with a double in the 7th. The six-run cushion was more than enough for senior Hannah Rogers (4-0), who pitched a four-hit shutout with one walk and three strikeouts to earn her 101st career victory and run Florida’s season-opening win streak to 10 games.    

 

NOTABLES

·         The Gators’ 19 runs in the win over Ohio State ties for the fifth-most runs UF has scored in a game in program history.

·         UF recorded 18 RBI in the first game, tied for fifth-most in a game in Gator Softball history.

·         The Orange and Blue hit .500 (15x30) as a team during the OSU game.

·         Florida batted around twice and sent 20 batters to the plate in the second inning of the victory against the Buckeyes.

·         Tofft set a career high with 6 RBI in the game against Ohio State.  

·         Stewart tied her career highs for runs and hits with 3 of each during the win over OSU.

·         Junior Francesca Martinez pinch-hit for Aubree Munro in the fourth inning against OSU, and reached base for the first time in her Gators career on a fielding error by the Buckeyes shortstop.

·         The home runs by Schwarz and Haeger in the CSUN game pulled them into a tie for the team lead with Kelsey Stewart at three home runs apiece.

 

 

WALTON’S WORDS

On the offense producing 19 runs in the win over Ohio State:

“We had some really good at-bats, whether it was walks or whether it was swinging at good pitches and putting the ball in play, I just thought we did a good job of executing. When you constantly have runners in scoring position, it puts a lot of pressure on the pitcher, catcher and infield, and we did a good job of going with a lot of good pitches.”

 

On the pitching staff shutting down the Buckeyes’ and Matadors’ offenses:

“I think our pitchers are all so different, and they’ve been able to mix their pitches with speeds and locations. It’s a huge weapon to have a great pitching staff. I think also our defense has been playing really well behind them. We’ve had some great plays on the infield, we’ve had some good catching, and we’ve made some really good plays in the outfield as well. I think it’s been a total team effort. We’ve done a good job of utilizing our pitchers’ strengths.”

 

On looking ahead to Sunday’s game against Minnesota:

“They’re really good. They’ve got a good balanced lineup, up and down the lineup, one thru nine, plus kids off the bench. They’ve got a good pitching staff and a good defense. It’s going to be probably as good of a test as we’ve had so far this year in all phases of the game. It’s what we play for, to play good competition, and Minnesota’s a really good team.”

 

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UP NEXT

Florida finishes play at the Easton Desert Classic on Sunday with a game against Minnesota at noon EST. Fans can listen to the action on WGGG (1230 AM) and find live stats via Gametracker on the GatorZone.com schedule page

 

-UF-

 

 

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