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Taylor Schwarz had five RBI Sunday at LSU as Florida won the three-game series with a 10-2 victory.

Sunday March 16, 2014No. 1 Florida Run-Rules No. 25 LSU, 10-2, to Win Series

Gainesville, Fla.

Taylor Schwarz had five RBI Sunday at LSU as Florida won the three-game series with a 10-2 victory.

BOX SCORE

 

The No. 1 Gator Softball team clinched its first SEC road series on Sunday (March 16) with a 10-2 win (5 innings) at No. 25 LSU. Florida (28-2, 4-2 SEC) scored seven runs in the first inning, two in the second and one in the fifth in support of Delanie Gourley (11-0), who allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts to earn the complete-game victory.

 

The Gators got on the scoreboard immediately when Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) led off the game with a home run to center field. UF’s offense continued its early onslaught when Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) singled to set up a two-run blast down the left-field line by Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.). Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) was then hit by a pitch, and Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) brought her home with an RBI double to left. Justine McLean (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) walked to bring up Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), who hit a three-run home run to left to make the score 7-0 after one half-inning.

 

LSU scored one run off Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.) in the bottom of the first on a leadoff triple and a fielder’s choice, but the Gators answered back in the second with a two-run single from Schwarz that plated Haeger and Merritt. Both pitchers fired blanks in the third and fourth, with the UF lefty striking out three Tigers during the two frames and allowing just a single in the third.

 

Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) reached on a two-base error to start the fifth, and pinch-runner Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) scored two batters later on an LSU error. LSU plated a run in the bottom of the frame on a double to center, but Gourley finished off the Tigers to seal the 10-2 victory and secure the series for the Gators.

 

NOTABLES

·         Schwarz set a career high with 5 RBI (previous: 4, twice; last: 4/17/13 at Florida State).

·         The first baseman’s home run was her second hit in SEC play. She entered Sunday batting .063 (1x16) in league games. 

·         Stewart’s home run increased her RBI total to 30 on the season, giving UF three players with 30+ RBI (Haeger, Tofft).

·         The sophomore’s blast ran her hitting streak to 13 games, tops on the Gators in 2014.

·         Stewart also extended her reached-base streak to 30 games to start the season.

·         The Wichita, Kan., native notched her 12th multi-hit game of the year, tops on the team.

·         Haeger’s two-run shot was her tenth of the year, giving their Gators their first double-digit home-run hitter of 2014.

·         The junior now has hit at least 10 home runs in each of her three seasons with the Orange and Blue.

·         Merritt’s three hits eclipsed the two she had in the previous seven games, dating to March 7.

 

WALTON’S WORDS

Head Coach Tim Walton

On Schwarz’ breakout day at the plate:

“She came to bat today with a lead. It says a lot about the way you can swing the bat when you’ve got a lead. It’s a lot easier to hit. I’ll take nothing away from her—it’s just a lot easier to get the job done when you’ve got confidence.”

 

On what the Gators need to do to get hits when they don’t have a lead:

“That’s what makes good pitching. When you play good teams, you’re going to have to learn to be productive. We really put an emphasis on having productive at-bats to be able to move runners along, and we did that today. We were able to move runners into scoring position to get those hits, and we were able to deliver a couple times. I was really happy.”

 

On what the team needs to improve on this week:

“We’ve just got to be able to do the things that we do and continue to get production out of everybody on the team. It’s not just about one player being hot. It’s about being able to get a solid team effort like we had today, when seven of your nine hitters get hits and nine of your nine hitters get on base. That’s a team win today, for sure.”

 

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UP NEXT

The Gators return home Tuesday to face Central Connecticut State at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET. GatorVision will have live video, and radio coverage will be available on WGGG (1230 AM), with Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call. Fans also can follow the action on Gametracker, which is available on the schedule page on GatorZone.com.   

 

-UF-

 

 

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