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Taylor Schwarz drove in three runs on Sunday in Florida's 15-2 win over Minnesota at the Easton Desert Classic.

Sunday February 16, 2014Gators Sweep Easton Desert Classic With Win Over Minnesota

Las Vegas

Taylor Schwarz drove in three runs on Sunday in Florida's 15-2 win over Minnesota at the Easton Desert Classic.

BOX SCORE

 

The No. 1/2 Gator Softball team completed a perfect weekend at the Easton Desert Classic on Sunday, defeating No. 24/22 Minnesota 15-2 (6 innings).

 

Florida (11-0) got its offense rolling with four runs in the third inning. Kelsey Stewart singled to center and stole second, then advanced to third on Kirsti Merritt’s sacrifice bunt. When no one covered the plate for Minnesota, Stewart came home with the Gators’ first run. After Lauren Haeger walked, the Orange and Blue got a two-run single from Stephanie Tofft, who then scored on a throwing error on Aubree Munro’s infield hit.

 

The Gators plated three more runs in the fourth after Stewart reached on a bunt single, Merritt walked and Bailey Castro got on via a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Taylor Schwarz brought all three runners home with a double to center that increased the Florida lead to 7-0.

 

Minnesota got two runs back in the bottom of the frame when Delanie Gourley (W, 4-0) allowed an RBI single, and another run came home when the Gopher runner beat Schwarz’ throw to the plate on a fielder’s choice.

 

In the sixth, Merritt was hit by a pitch before Haeger blasted a two-run home run to push the Gators’ lead to 9-2. After Castro singled, pinch-runner Jessica Damico stole second and went to third on a Schwarz single. Tofft drove home Damico with a single to right, and then Tofft and Schwarz scored on Munro’s double to give the Gators a 10-run advantage at 12-2. Justine McLean’s triple to left plated Francesca Martinez, who pinch-ran for Munro. Two batters later, Chelsea Herndon hit a home run as a pinch-hitter for Merritt, driving in McLean to produce the final margin.

 

UF Head Coach Tim Walton brought in Hannah Rogers for the final two innings, and the senior tossed a pair of scoreless frames to preserve the win for the Gators, who completed a tournament with a perfect record for the second consecutive weekend.    

 

NOTABLES

·         Herndon’s pinch-hit home run in the 6th was her first career homer.

·         Haeger’s 3 RBI Sunday increased her season total to 11, making her the sixth Gator with double-digit RBI this season (Schwarz, Munro, Stewart, Merritt, Tofft)

·         Florida won its five games at the Easton Desert Classic by a combined score of 59-6.

 

WALTON’S WORDS

On the Gators’ 12 home runs this weekend in Las Vegas:

“Obviously, we put good swings on good pitches. I thought our hitters did a good job with two strikes. They did a good job all weekend long, and anytime a pitcher made a mistake, it seemed like they made someone pay.”

 

On the impact from freshmen early in the season:

“I think Chelsea Herndon has a little bit of a tough job right now. She hasn’t had a start. She’s come off the bench and made the most of her at-bats. I think she’s probably hitting .500, and she’s got three pinch-hits for us. She got a nice pinch-hit yesterday as well. She’s doing a good job. Delanie [Gourley] has obviously had her starts and her relief appearances. Justine [McLean] had a great day today, as well, and had a good weekend. I think they’re adjusting. They’re getting comfortable. They’re shaking the nerves out of themselves a little bit, and they’re doing a good job of competing.”

 

On playing at home for the next week after two tournaments on the road:

“The way we set the schedule up, we’ll be home for awhile now, or at least in the state of Florida for awhile. Ultimately, it’s good to get these wins. [It was a] great crowd we had today, great fans. One thing I think you can’t overlook is how many Gator fans travel with us when we come out to the West Coast. It was fun to see, and it’s fun to play in that kind of environment where family and friends get to see the team be successful.”

 

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UP NEXT

Florida opens its home slate Wednesday (Feb. 19) with a game against Jacksonville University. First pitch from Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium is set for 6:05 p.m. EST. GatorVision will have live video, and fans can find live stats via Gametracker on the GatorZone.com schedule page. Radio coverage will be provided by WGGG (1230-AM), with Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call.  

 

-UF-

 

 

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