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Kelsey Stewart got an infield hit in the first inning against Troy to set the table for the Gators' offense.

Friday February 21, 2014Top-Ranked Gators Earn a Pair of Wins Friday at Rain-Delayed Lipton Invitational

Gainesville, Fla.

Kelsey Stewart got an infield hit in the first inning against Troy to set the table for the Gators' offense.

BOX SCORE—Game 1 (Troy)

BOX SCORE—Game 2 (Indiana)

 

The No. 1 Gator Softball team (14-0) won two games Friday night to begin the 2014 University of Florida Lipton Invitational, defeating Troy 3-0 and Indiana 3-1 at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.  

 

Senior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) and freshman Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.) both pitched complete games to improve to 5-0 on the season. Rogers’ victory against the Trojans marked her third shutout of the year.

 

Senior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) and sophomore Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) each recorded three hits on the day to lead the Gators. Stewart, junior Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and freshman Justine McLean (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) all stole bases for Florida.

 

Florida started quickly against Troy after a rain delay pushed back the game start time by more than three hours. Stewart led off the bottom of the first with an infield hit and advanced to second on a throwing error, then took third on a McLean groundout. Haeger walked and then stole second, and a throwing error by the Trojan catcher allowed Stewart to come home with the game’s first run.

 

The Gators wrapped up their scoring in the fourth when Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) walked and Tofft doubled to set up Stewart’s two-run double that produced the final margin. Troy managed just four hits off Rogers, who walked two batters and struck out eight.

 

In the nightcap, UF got on the board first again with an RBI single from Haeger and a run-scoring double by Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.). The Hoosiers cut the Florida lead to one in the bottom of the frame when a passed ball allowed leadoff hitter Breanna Saucedo to score from third.

 

The Orange and Blue answered in the top of the fourth with a bases-loaded walk by freshman Chelsea Herndon, (Carrollton, Texas) who entered as a pinch-hitter. Indiana had the winning run at the plate with no outs in the seventh, but Gourley retired three straight Hoosiers to join Rogers at 5-0 on the season.

 

NOTABLES

·         Catcher Aubree Munro saw her career-best 10-game hitting streak snapped in the Indiana game, when she struck out in her only at-bat.  

·         The Gators’ three steals on the day increased the team’s season total to 28 thefts on 33 attempts

·         Gourley’s opponents’ batting average on the season dipped to .196, meaning that each of Florida’s top three pitchers (also: Haeger, Rogers) are holding opponents under .200.  

 

WALTON’S WORDS

On the Gators’ pitching and fielding on Friday:

“I thought Hannah and Delanie both pitched well today, and our defense, other than the miscue at the end (of the Indiana game); I thought we still played pretty well. I wasn’t too pleased with the way we swung the bat, but I have to give credit to the way Troy and Indiana pitched. Both pitchers were hitting their spots and they weren’t giving in to our hitters or putting anything over the middle of the plate.”

 

On the offense’s ability to grind out a win despite just one hit on the day from Haeger:

“She’s an All-American. She’s knows what she’s doing. Today, she just didn’t have her best stuff. Sitting where we’re sitting, I don’t think there’s any panic setting in, that’s for sure.”

 

On the 17 strikeouts from Gourley and Rogers combined:

“It was solid. I thought Delanie made pitches when she had to. Other than a couple infield hits, I thought she really pitched well. She was ahead in the count a lot, and she pitched well. She showed some good composure. She probably didn’t realize that the winning run was sitting at home plate three at-bats in a row (in the bottom of the seventh). I thought she did a good job.”

 

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UP NEXT

The Gators will continue play in the Lipton Invitational on Saturday, when they have rematches with Troy (noon) and Indiana (2:15 p.m.). Fans can find live stats via Gametracker on the GatorZone.com schedule page. Radio coverage will be provided by WGGG (1230-AM). Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush will have the call for Game 1, while Mike Gillespie will join Bush for Game 2.  

 

-UF-

 

 

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