Knotted up at five runs entering the seventh frame, Florida shortstop Reagan Walsh made a throwing error — the freshman’s team-leading 8th error this season — that allowed a Southern Miss run to score to break the tie.
In the bottom of the seventh, Golden Eagles pitcher Morgan Leinstock delivered a seven-pitch, one-two-three inning to hand the Gators their first loss of the year.
Following a 16-0 start to the 2022 season, No. 4 Florida lost to Southern Miss 5-4 Tuesday night in Gainesville.
Freshman right-hander Lexie Delbrey earned her seventh start for the Gators but picked up her first career loss. Delbrey surrendered a three-run bomb in the opening frame before she gave up a solo shot in the top of the second.
The Gators responded at the plate by scoring three runs in the first two innings to keep it a one-run game. In the bottom of the first, freshman leadoff hitter Kendra Falby scored Florida’s first run on senior third baseman Charla Echols’ RBI single.
An inning later, the Gators loaded the bases with two outs before second baseman Hannah Adams got hit by a pitch and first baseman Skylar Wallace drew a walk to cut the deficit to 4-3.
After both teams laid goose eggs in the third and fourth innings, Florida managed to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Wallace poked a triple into left field — her second consecutive game hitting a triple — and scored on an Echols sacrifice fly.
Despite a rough start to her outing, Delbrey pitched into the seventh inning until Florida head coach Tim Walton called in right-hander Marissa Mesiemore for relief. Mesiemore entered the circle with two runners on base after Delbrey yielded a leadoff bunt and walk.
Mesiemore recorded three quick outs, but Walsh’s error allowed the Golden Eagles’ go-ahead run to score via a fielder’s choice.
Southern Miss: 5 / 5 / 1
#4 Florida: 4 / 9 / 1
Win: Leinstock (7-1)
Loss: Delbrey (5-1)
Delbrey: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (2.27/1.24 season ERA/WHIP)
Mesiemore: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (4.38/1.25)
- LF Falby: 2-3, R, BB (.527 season BA)
- 2B Adams: 0-3, RBI, HBP (.436)
- 1B Wallace: 2-2, R, RBI, 2 BB, HBP, 3B (.444)
- 3B Echols: 1-3, 2 RBI (.327)
- SS Walsh: 1-4 (.302)
- CF Lindsey: 1-3, R (.377)
- DP Longley: 0-2, 2 K (.208)
- C Roe: 1-3, R, K (.227)
- RF Kistler: 1-3 (.462)
The Gators will look to bounce back into the win column this weekend as they prepare to host the Bubly Invitational. Florida will face Georgia State at 3:30 p.m. Friday followed by Coastal Carolina at 6.