JACKSONVILLE, Fla - The No. 4-ranked Florida softball team cruised past Jacksonville, 13-1 (5 innings), Tuesday afternoon at the Debbie and Fred Pruitt Softball Complex. UF belted 13 hits in the contest, which is the second consecutive game and third time this season the team has produced 10 or more hits in a game.
The Gators (5-0) scored in 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th innings for their first run-rule victory of the season. Freshman shortstop Reagan Walsh and senior third baseman Charla Echols (Newnan, Ga.) led the way at the plate with a pair of 3-for-4 performances. Walsh broke out in a big way as the Redondo Beach, Calif. native belted the first home run of her career, a grand slam, and she finished the game with six RBI.
Skylar Wallace (Woodstock, Ga.) opened the scoring in the 1st inning with a SAC fly that scored freshman Kendra Falby (Odessa, Fla.) from third. Falby reached in the top of the 1st inning via a walk and advanced to second for her fifth stolen base of the season.
Florida extended its lead to 5-0 in the 3rd inning with a two-RBI single from senior Echols and another two-RBI single by Walsh.
However, UF's big inning came in the 4th inning when the team struck for eight runs. Wallace drew a bases loaded hit by pitch, which was followed up by another RBI single by Echols.
Walsh cleared the bases in the next at-bat with the grand slam that easily cleared the center field wall. Sophomore Avery Goelz (Myakka City, Fla.) also got in on the home run action as she crushed the first of her career over the right center field wall to cap the eight-run inning and extend Florida's lead out to 13-0.
Jacksonville avoided the shutout and scratched across an unearned run in the bottom of the 5th inning to close out the scoring and close the lead to 13-1.
In the circle, Florida received 4.0 quality innings in the circle from fifth year graduate pitcher Natalie Lugo (West Covina, Calif.). Lugo struck out four and allowed only one walk and a trio of hits before she was relieved in the 5th inning by graduate transfer Marissa Mesiemore (Bushnell, Fla.).
The Gators and the Dolphins will face each other again at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Gainesville at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium for Florida's home opener.