GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The series finale between the eighth-ranked Florida softball team and Missouri came down to the final out as the Orange & Blue clinched the series with a 4-3 win in walk-off fashion Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (22-5, 2-1 SEC) claimed their first Southeastern Conference series of the year, 2-1, with the victory over the Tigers (19-11, 1-5 SEC).
UF turned in a complete-team effort to secure the victory as seven different players notched a hit in the contest, including Skylar Wallace's 2-for-4 performance at the plate with two stolen bases, the game-tying RBI single and scored the game-winning run on a ball in the dirt thrown by Taylor Pannell.
At the beginning of the game, Missouri jumped out ahead 2-0 via a bases loaded RBI walk in the top of the 1st inning and a solo home run in the 3rd inning of action.
However, Florida fought back and tied the game in the 4th inning 2-2. Charla Echols led off the frame with a walk, which was then followed up by a line drive double off the bat of Reagan Walsh that put runners on second and third with no outs.
The Tigers opted for a pitching change and brought in Laurin Krings in relief of starter Jordan Weber. Krings battled with UF right fielder Pal Egan to which Egan placed a ground ball to the right side of the Missouri infield that allowed Echols to score easily from first base.
Avery Goelz tied the game 2-2 when she plated Walsh on an RBI infield single to second base.
The Gators also made a change in the circle in the top half of the 4th inning before the game was tied up. Senior Rylee Trlicek (7-1) entered in relief of Elizabeth Hightower and limited Missouri to just one run through four innings of work.
The one run occurred in the top of the 6th inning when the Tigers drove in the go-ahead run and went up 3-2 on an RBI groundout to second.
Despite the deficit, Florida would not be denied its first walk-off victory of the season in front of the fans at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Freshman pinch-hitter Kaila Pollard stepped into the box as the leadoff batter in the bottom of the 7th inning and delivered a single through the right side of the Tigers infield to put the tying run on base.
Katie Kistler reentered the game to run in place of Pollard and made her way to second base on Emily Wilkies pinch-hit SAC bunt.
After a groundout to the catcher that allowed Kistler to move to third, Wallace dug into the batter's box to provide the heroics. The Woodstock, Ga. native ripped the game-tying RBI single up the middle that scored Kistler, then proceeded to steal second and advanced all the way to third base after the Tigers catcher's throw ended up in the outfield.
Missouri opted to intentionally walk both Echols and Walsh in the ensuing at-bats then make a pitching change in the circle. Pannell entered the game to face pinch-hitter Olivia Gigante and worked 0-2 count before she spiked her fourth pitch into the dirt which allowed Wallace to score the game-winning run.
- The Gators took their first Southeastern Conference series of the season 2-1 over Missouri.
- Florida improved to 17-6 all-time against Missouri.
- Skylar Wallace notched her sixth multi-hit game of the season and stole a pair of bases. Wallace has now reached base safely in 23 consecutive games. She is also now on a five-game hit-streak. The Woodstock, Ga. native recorded a season-high five assists in today's win.
- Charla Echols extended her reached base safely streak to 14 games after a pair of walks.
- Avery Goelz notched 11 putouts in today's win, which was one shy of her season-high 12.
The Gators will step out of conference for a solo midweek game against Stetson at Patricia Wilson Field this Wednesday, March 22, at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.