about an hour ago
GAINESVILLE, Florida. – The series final between eighth-ranked Florida softball team and Missouri ended in the final as the Orange & Blue won the series with a 4-3 walk-off win on Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (22-5, 2-1 SEC) won their first Southeastern Conference series of the year, 2-1, with the victory over the Tigers (19-11, 1-5 SEC).
UF put in a full team effort to secure the win as seven different players had hits in the contest, including Skylar Wallace’s 2-for-4 performance at home plate with two stolen bases, RBI singles tying the game and scored the game. -winning race on a ball in the ground launched by Taylor Pannell.
Early in the game, Missouri took a 2-0 lead via a base-loaded RBI walk in the top of the 1st inning and a solo home run in the 3rd inning of action.
However, Florida fought back and tied the game in the 4th inning 2-2. Charla Echols started the frame with a walk, which was then followed by a line double from Reagan Walsh’s bat that put the runners at second and third with no outs.
The Tigers opted for a pitching change and brought in Laurin Krings to relieve starter Jordan Weber. Krings battled with UF right fielder Pal Egan to which Egan grounded a fly ball to the right side of Missouri’s infield, allowing Echols to score easily from first base.
Avery Goelz tied the game 2-2 when she tackled Walsh on an RBI infield single at second base.
The Gators also made a change to the circle in the top half of the 4th inning before the game was tied. Senior Rylee Trlicek (7-1) came on as relief from Elizabeth Hightower and held Missouri to just one run in four innings of work.
The only run came in the top of the 6th inning when the Tigers gave the go-ahead and took a 3-2 lead on an RBI groundout at second.
Despite the deficit, Florida would not be denied their first win of the season in front of fans at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Freshman hitter Kaila Pollard entered the box as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the 7th inning and singled to the right side of the Tigers infield to put the tying run on base.
Katie Kistler reentered the game to run in place of Pollard and made it to second base on Emily Wilkies’ SAC bunt.
After a groundout to receiver that allowed Kistler to advance to third, Wallace dug into the batter’s box to provide the heroism. The Woodstock, Georgia native tore up the game-tying RBI single in the middle that scored Kistler, then stole second and advanced to third base after the Tigers catcher’s throw ended up in the outfield .
Missouri opted to intentionally walk both Echols and Walsh in the ensuing at-bats, then make a pitch change in the circle. Pannell came into the game to face pinch hitter Olivia Gigante and went 0-2 before throwing her fourth pitch into the dirt, which allowed Wallace to score the winning run.
- The Gators won their first series of the Southeastern Conference season 2-1 against Missouri.
- Florida improved to 17-6 all-time against Missouri.
- Skylar Wallace landed his sixth multi-hit game of the season and stole a pair of bases. Wallace has now reached base safely in 23 consecutive games. She’s also now on a five-game winning streak. The Woodstock, Georgia native registered a record five assists in today’s victory.
- Charla Echols extended her safe-reaching streak to 14 games after a pair of steps.
- Avery Goelz had 11 strikeouts in today’s win, one shy of his season high of 12.
The Gators will exit the conference for a midweek solo game against Stetson at Patricia Wilson Field this Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.