GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No. 4 Florida softball downed Jacksonville 8-0 (6 innings) in its home opener Wednesday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The shutout victory is UF's fourth of the season in six games played.
The Gators (6-0) freshman right-handed pitcher Lexie Delbrey picked up her second start of her young career and turned in yet another solid performance. The Bainbridge, Ga. native struck out nine batters in only 4.0 innings of work from the circle and only allowed three hits and three walks.
Elizabeth Hightower entered the game in the 5th inning with a 3-0 lead and allowed only one hit and a walk to earn her first save of the season.
Offensively, senior Cheyenne Lindsey (Chattanooga, Tenn.) paced the offense with her second multi-hit game of the season going 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and a run scored.
Florida opened up the scoring in the 3rd inning of play and took a 2-0 lead over the Dolphins. Freshman speedster Kendra Falby (Odessa, Fla.) scored the first run of the game when she streaked home after the throw to retire Hannah Adams (Hoschton, Ga.) was made at second base.
Later in the inning, fellow freshman Reagan Walsh (Redondo Beach, Calif.) drove in redshirt-junior Skylar Wallace (Woodstock, Ga.) from third on a SAC fly to right field.
The Gators tacked on one run in the bottom of the 5th inning of play when sophomore Avery Goelz scored Falby on an RBI groundout to second base.
UF put the game away with a five-run 6th inning that ended the game in run-rule fashion 8-0. The rally started with a leadoff double from Walsh that nearly cleared the left center field wall. After sophomore Katie Kister (Orange Park, Fla.) entered the game as a pinch-runner for Walsh, Lindsey drove her home in the next at-bat with her second triple of the season.
Sophomore Emily Wilkie (Cumming, Ga.) followed with a full-count walk that spanned over a 12-pitch at-bat. Avery Goelz accounted for her second RBI of the game with a single to first base that scored Lindsey and Falby was hit by an 0-1 pitch to load the bases.
Adams then extended the lead out to 6-0 with a SAC fly to left field that scored Wilkie from third and Wallace iced the game with her two-RBI double to right center field.
The Gators return to action Friday evening at 6 p.m. against No. 14 Duke in its first game of the T-Mobile Invitational.