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Hannah Rogers won her fifth consecutive start Friday night as Florida defeated Texas A&M.

Saturday April 19, 2014Florida Drops Texas A&M, 5-1, to Win Seventh Straight Game

Gainesville, Fla.

Hannah Rogers won her fifth consecutive start Friday night as Florida defeated Texas A&M.

BOX SCORE

 

The No. 5/7 Gator Softball team defeated No. 21/22 Texas A&M, 5-1, on Friday night (April 18) at the Aggie Softball Complex in the opener of the teams’ three-game series. Florida (38-8, 9-7 SEC) scored two runs in the first inning and three in the fifth, holding the Aggies (29-15, 9-10 SEC) to a single run in the third. UF senior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) improved to 19-6 on the season after she allowed one earned run on seven hits over seven innings, with two walks and three strikeouts.

 

Florida opened the scoring in the top of the first when Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) walked to set up a two-run home run from Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.). The Gators retired Texas A&M in order in the bottom of the frame; the Aggies’ third batter reached on an error, but Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) threw her out when she tried to advance to second.

 

The Orange and Blue had two runners in scoring position in the second when Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) hit a one-out single and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) followed two batters later with a double to left, but both were stranded. Texas A&M loaded the bases with two outs against Rogers, but the senior forced a flyout to right to end the threat.

 

Tofft drew a leadoff walk in the third, but she was left at first. The Aggies cut the Florida lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on a run-scoring double to left. Schwarz singled to lead off the fourth and Stewart was hit by a pitch with two outs, but neither was able to score. Rogers set down Texas A&M in order in the bottom of the inning.

 

Florida loaded the bases with two singles and a walk to start the fifth inning. Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) extended the UF lead to three with a two-run double to right, plating Tofft and pinch-runner Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.), who entered in place of Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.). Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) walked ahead of Little and scored when Schwarz reached on an error by the Aggie pitcher.

 

Texas A&M got a leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth, but Rogers induced a double play and a fielded a comebacker to retire the side. Stewart led off the sixth with a bunt single before the Gators hit into three straight fielder’s choices. The Aggies got a baserunner in the bottom of the inning on a Florida fielding error, but the runner was thrown out on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

 

Florida had two walks and a fielder’s choice in the seventh, but two runners were thrown out on the base paths and one was stranded. Texas A&M loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning to put the potential tying run at the plate, but Rogers induced a groundball to shortstop and the Gator defense turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and secure the win.

 

NOTABLES

·         Florida extended its winning streak to seven games, dating back to April 4. The Gators have outscored their opponents 40-11 during that span.

·         Rogers won her fifth consecutive start; the senior has not lost since April 2 vs. Florida State.

·         During her five-start winning streak, Rogers has a 0.85 ERA (4 ER / 33.0 IP) with 21 hits and 10 walks allowed, and 19 strikeouts.

·         Tofft’s home run was her seventh of the season, moving her into a tie with Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) for third on the team (Haeger – 10, Merritt – 8).

·         The senior recorded her team-leading 13th multi-RBI game of the season.

·         Tofft posted her ninth multi-hit contest of the year, which ranks third on the squad.

·         The third baseman extended her hitting streak against SEC opponents to four games, dating back to April 4. She is batting .455 (5x11) over that span, with three runs scored, two home runs and five RBI.

·         Little recorded her second straight multi-RBI game, and her third of the season.

 

WALTON’S WORDS

Head Coach Tim Walton

On how a Friday-night win can create momentum for the rest of the weekend:

“This was a great win for our program tonight. It’s a tough place to play, and we had a tough day yesterday getting here. I was really excited about the way we came out. We’re making strides, and I can definitely see improvements. Our players are getting better.”

 

On how Rogers can draw on her experience to work out of jams:

“She was really poised. I could see that in the seventh inning. I don’t know that I had to tell her that the tying run was up at the plate in a pretty good hitter. She got her to get out in front on a pitch and induce the double play with the bases loaded. Give our infield credit, too, because a lot of teams are trying to cut runs off there. Our infield was talking—they wanted to turn that double play, and sure enough, she induced it. I was really proud of not only Hannah, but the defense and their maturity.”

 

On what the Gators need to do on Saturday to sustain their winning streak:

“We’re not complacent. That’s the good thing about our players. They will watch their swings, see where they’re at, make adjustments to a point where we can do what we did tonight—use the whole field. We’ve got to use the whole field offensively against good teams. I’d like to see us play a little sharper tomorrow. I thought our defense made some phenomenal plays, but we weren’t as sharp as we need to be. Part of that is Hannah jamming people and them doing a good job of finding a way to make contact. I’d like to see us be a little sharper, and use the whole field.”

 

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UP NEXT

The series at Texas A&M continues Saturday at the Aggie Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, with a live television broadcast on ESPNU. Radio coverage will be provided on ESPN 850, with Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call. Live stats will be accessible through Texas A&M’s Website.

 

-UF-

 

 

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