Wallace, consistent hitting send Gators past Bucknell
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The 11th-ranked Florida softball team downed Bucknell, 8-0 (6 innings), in a midweek contest Wednesday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The Gators (20-4) reached the 20-win mark behind solid pitching performances from Rylee Trlicek, Samantha Bender (1-0) and Olivia Gigante. Trlicek received the start in the circle and hurled a perfect three innings with five strikeouts before she gave way to Bender, who pitched the most effectively in relief for two innings, and then was relieved by Gigante for the final frame of action.
Overall, the trio of pitchers held the Bison (7-14) scoreless for the one-hit, run-rule victory on just 59 combined pitches. It's also the fourth one-hitter of the season for the Orange & Blue.
Offensively, Florida was consistent at the plate as the team produced 11 hits in the game. Leading the way was Skylar Wallace (2-for-3), Charla Echols (2-for-4) and Olivia Gigante (2-for-4), while Kendra Falby, Reagan Walsh, Sam Roe, Avery Goelz and Katie Kistler each tallied a hit in the game.
The Gators opened up the scoring in the 1st inning of action thanks to a one-out double by Wallace, which was then followed by Echols' RBI single up the middle. Walsh stretched out the lead to 2-0 later in the frame with her infield single to first that drove home Echols.
Florida scored two more runs in the 3rd inning to take a 4-0 lead over Bucknell. The rally started when Wallace drilled her sixth home run of the year to lead off the inning and Goelz expanded UF's lead via an RBI single up the middle that scored Trlicek, who pinch-ran out of the flex position for Gigante.
Two more runs were added to the Gators tally in the 4th inning to push the lead out to 6-0. Kistler led the frame with her second triple of the season and was brought home on Falby's fifth double of the year. Wallace notched another RBI when she plated Falby via an RBI groundout to second.
The Orange & Blue concluded the scoring in the bottom of the 6th inning for the run-rule victory. Wallace drew a one-out RBI walk to put a runner on for Echols, which set the table for her 37th RBI of the year when she smashed a double to right center field. Roe produced the game-ending hit later in the inning with a RBI double down the left field line that would score Echols from second base.
Florida now sets its sights on Southeastern Conference play as the team welcomes Missouri to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium for a three-game series.
- The Gators run-rule victory in six innings against Bucknell was the 15th run-rule victory of the year. The Orange & Blue's shutout was also the 10th of the year.
- Florida has outscored opponents 206-47 on the year and is averaging 8.58 runs per game.
- UF tallied 11 hits in tonight's game, which is the 13th time this season the offense has produced 10 or more hits in a game.
- Senior Rylee Trlicek received the start in the circle and hurled a perfect three innings on just 31 pitches. The Hallettsville, Texas native also struck out a season-high five Bison in the effort.
- Skylar Wallace went 2-for-3 in tonight's game with a home run and a double. The Woodstock, Ga. native has reached base safely over the last 20 games.
- Charla Echols extended her hit-streak out to nine games after she went 2-for-4 at the plate. The Newnan, Ga. native also extended her reached base safely streak out to 11 games.
- Olivia Gigante went 2-for-4 tonight for her second multi-hit game of her career.