Following a 4-0 performance in the USF Tournament in Tampa last weekend, the Gators run-ruled Jacksonville 13-1 on the road Tuesday after just five innings.
Florida scored only one run through the first two innings courtesy of leadoff hitter Kendra Falby scoring on first baseman Skylar Wallace’s sacrifice fly in the top of the first.
After a sluggish start, Florida’s offense opened the floodgates in the third and fourth innings when they tacked on four runs followed by eight insurance runs.
In the top of the fourth, freshman shortstop Reagan Walsh hit a grand slam — her first collegiate career home run — to put the Gators in run-rule position up 11-0. Four batters later, right fielder Avery Goelz hit a two-out, two-run bomb to give Florida a 13-0 advantage.
After starting the season 1-17 at the plate, Florida cleanup hitter Charla Echols found her stride Tuesday with a three-hit, three-RBI outing.
Fifth-year pitcher Natalie Lugo threw four shutout frames before right-hander Marissa Mesiemore entered the circle in the bottom of the fifth. Mesiemore fanned two batters, but the graduate student gave up an unearned run due to an error on Walsh.
No. 4 Florida: 13 / 13 / 1
Jacksonville: 1 / 4 / 0
Win: Lugo (1-0)
Loss: Whitty (0-3)
Lugo: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Mesiemore: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- LF Falby: 2-3, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
- 2B Adams: 1-4, 1 R
- 1B Wallace: 1-1, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP
- 3B Echols: 3-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 K
- SS Walsh: 3-4, 1 R, 6 RBI, HR (1)
- CF Lindsey: 1-3, 1 R
- C Wilkie: 0-1, 2 BB
- DP Kistler: 0-3
- RF A. Goelz: 2-2, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, HR (1)
The Gators will return to Gainesville for their home opener Wednesday as they get set for a rematch against Jacksonville. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.