AUBURN, Ala. - The seventh-ranked Florida softball team bounced back to defeat No. 17 Auburn, 7-6, Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field. UF pounded out 13 hits with four doubles en route to the victory. T he Gators (29-6, 6-5 SEC) offense set the tone for the game in the 1st inning of play as leadoff batter Kendra Falby drew a walk to start the contest and Hannah Adams ripped her first double of the day to score Falby from first base.
Sophomore Emily Wilkie extended UF's lead to 2-0 over the Tigers (29-5, 7-4 SEC) when she plated Adams with a two-out single to left field that zipped inside the third base bag.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Lexie Delbrey kept Auburn's offense off balance through 3.0 innings of work from the circle with her only blemish being a walk with one out and a two-run home run that tied the game 2-2. The hit would be the only one AU could muster off the Bainbridge, Ga. native, before she was relieved by fifth year graduate Natalie Lugo (7-2) in the 4th inning.
Florida immediately bounced back and struck for four runs on seven hits in the top of the 4th inning of play to take a 6-2 lead. The rally started with freshman Sam Roe's bunt single down the third base line.
The Destin, Fla. native was driven home shortly after on Kendra Falby's RBI single through the right side, which led to RBI doubles by Skylar Wallace and Reagan Walsh and an RBI single by Cheyenne Lindsey.
UF tacked on an additional run in the 5th inning to take a 7-2 lead over AU. Falby did the heavy work in the frame as she produced an infield single to shortstop then proceeded to steal her second base of the game. The throw from Auburn's catcher bounced off Falby and caromed into center field, which allowed Falby to pop up off the bag and race home.
Auburn clawed its way back into the game in the final two innings of action thanks to a two-run home run by Nelia Peralta in the 6th inning along with a sacrifice fly by Carlee McCondichie and RBI triple by Makayla Packer in the 7th inning.
The comeback fell short as Lugo induced a groundout to Roe who made the throw to Goelz at first for the final out.
Florida and Auburn will compete for the series Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET) on SEC Network +.