GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The sixth-ranked Florida softball team bounced back to defeat No. 4 Alabama, 12-7, to close out the series Monday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
It marked the 13th comeback of the season for the Gators (31-9 overall, 8-7 in the SEC) and included a pair of hard-fought rallies after being down 3-0 and 5-3 to defeat the Crimson Tide (33-6, 10-5 SEC).
Florida chipped away at the initial 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the second inning of play when freshman Reagan Walsh belted her team-leading sixth home run of the season off of All-American Montana Fouts to close down the lead to 3-1 and the Redondo Beach, Calif. native knotted the game at 3-3 in the 3rd inning with a two-RBI single up the middle.
Alabama responded to retake the lead, 5-3, in the top of the 4th inning via a two-run home run by Ashley Prange, but Florida responded with a six-run frame to take the lead 9-5.
Freshman Sam Roe sparked the inning with an infield single that dropped off the outstretched diving grab of Alabama's catcher. Sarah Longley reached via a full-count hit-by-pitch and freshman Kendra Falby added an infield in the next at-bat to load the bases, which forced Fouts from the circle.
The Crimson Tide turned to Lexi Kilfoyl (8-3) with the bases loaded and one out, but her first pitch was down in the dirt and allowed Roe to slide in safely at home to close down Alabama's lead to 5-4.
Redshirt junior Skylar Wallace drew a four-pitch walk in the ensuing at-bat and fifth year senior Hannah Adams tied the game with an RBI single down the left field line to score Longley and Falby. After Charla Echols drew a hit-by-pitch to keep the rally alive, Alabama went back to the bullpen and brought in Jaala Torrence. Torrence threw a wild pitch to allow Wallace to score from third, Walsh notched her fourth RBI of the game via a sacrifice fly and Echols raced home on another wild pitch during senior Cheyenne Lindsey's at-bat to cap the rally.
The Gators kept the pressure on and added three more insurance runs in the 6th inning of action as Wallace produced a leadoff double and Adams notched a bunt single to lead off the inning. Echols drove in Wallace on a single to left field and Roe finished the frame out with her two-RBI single to shallow center field that scored Adams and pinch-runner Christina Wellen.
Alabama attempted a comeback of their own in the final frame of play with a pair of runs, but the Gators thwarted the effort to claim the victory. Freshman Lexi Delbrey (10-2) picked up the win for the Gators in relief tonight as worked 3.0 innings in the circle.
The Gators were 6-for-10 at the plate with runners in scoring position in the contest.
- Reagan Walsh provided her sixth multi-RBI game with a solo home run in the 2nd, a two RBI single in the 3rd and a sacrifice fly in the 4th. The home run was Walsh's sixth of the year and ties her for 10th most by a Gator freshman in a single season. Walsh is the Gators' home run leader.
- Skylar Wallace extended her base streak to nine games with a full-count walk in the 3rd inning. The redshirt-junior improved her hitting streak to seven games with a double down the left field line in the 6th inning. This was the Woodstock, Ga. native's ninth game with two walks and entered the night tied for 10th in the nation in walks.
- Hannah Adams put together her 13th multi-hit game collecting a trio of singles in the win. The Hoschton, Ga. native extended her base streak to eight games via an infield single in the 3rd inning. The fifth-year senior scored three runs for the first time this season and tied her single game career high.
- Sam Roe tallied her third consecutive multi-hit game with a pair of singles and drove in two RBI. The freshman improved her hitting streak to four games with an infield single in the 4th inning, tying her career high. This was Roe's fourth multi-RBI game and tied her single game career high of two RBI. Florida improved to 40-45 all-time against Alabama and 15-24 when playing at KSP stadium.
- Under head coach Tim Walton the Gators are 31- 26 against the Crimson Tide.
- Florida produced 10 hits, making it the 16th game of the season the Gators have had 10 or more hits.
- The Gators scored six runs in the fourth inning against the Crimson Tide. It's the 10th time this season the Gators have scored six or more runs in an inning.
- Florida scored 12 runs for the third time this season. Last time was on Feb. 27 vs. UCF.
- Florida's 12 runs are the second-most runs scored against Alabama this season.
Florida returns to action this Thursday, Friday and Saturday as the team heads out to Oxford, Miss. to take on Ole Miss.