After run-ruling Jacksonville Wednesday in its home opener, No. 4 Florida cruised to a 9-3 victory over No. 14 Duke Friday night in Gainesville.
The Gators started right-hander Lexie Delbrey, but the freshman lasted only one inning after she surrendered a two-run double.
Senior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower came in for relief in the top of the second and pitched the remaining six frames. Hightower allowed only one run on two hits and a walk en route to picking up her fourth win already this season.
Florida’s offense racked up 10 hits and quickly erased its 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the first. Redshirt junior first baseman Skylar Wallace hit a two-out solo shot — her first as a Gator — before senior center fielder Cheyenne Lindsey poked a two-run double into centerfield.
An inning later, Wallace drove in another run via an infield single to give the Gators a 4-2 advantage.
Florida stranded a pair of baserunners in the third, but Wallace and senior third baseman Charla Echols plated two more runs in the fourth.
The Gators scored three final insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Wallace drew a bases-loaded walk to compete her 4-RBI outing.
No. 14 Duke: 3 / 3 / 1
No. 4 Florida: 9 / 10 / 1
Win: Hightower (4-0)
Loss: Walters (2-2)
Delbrey: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 3 WP
Hightower: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- LF Falby: 2-4, 2 R, K
- 2B Adams: 1-3, R, RBI, BB
- 1B Wallace: 2-3, R, 4 RBI, HR (1), BB, SB
- 3B Echols: 1-4, R, 2 RBI
- SS Walsh: 1-3, R, BB
- CF Lindsey: 2-4, 2 RBI
- C Wilkie: 0-1, R, BB, K
- RF A. Goelz: 0-3, 2 K
- DP Kistler: 1-2, 2 R, BB
Florida will face Villanova Saturday at 11:30 a.m. followed by Louisville at 2 p.m. The Gators will wrap up the T-Mobile Tournament Sunday afternoon at 2 against Florida A&M.