Alabama right-hander Montana Fouts struck out 11 Gators Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium en route to an 8-3 series-opening victory. Fouts went the distance and picked up her 16th win this season — second in the SEC.
The Gators drew six walks but managed only four hits the entire game. Fouts blanked Florida in every frame barring the bottom of fourth. Florida shortstop Skylar Wallace and second baseman Hannah Adams led off the inning with back-to-back walks before Wallace stole her 33rd base this year — leads the SEC — and scored on third baseman Charla Echols’ single up the middle.
The next at-bat, freshman designated player Reagan Walsh drove in Adams on a double into the right-center gap. With two outs, left fielder Katie Kistler poked an RBI single through the infield to cap off a three-run inning.
Senior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle for the Gators but gave up a season-high seven earned runs across only 2 2/3 innings. Hightower surrendered a two runs in the top of the second before the Crimson Tide scored five more in the third.
With two outs in the top of the third, sophomore southpaw Haley Pittman came in for relief and tossed a pair of shutout innings. Florida right-hander Marissa Mesiemore and left-hander Rylee Trlicek pitched the remainder of the game and Mesiemore yielded an unearned run in the top of the sixth following a costly error on Wallace.
#5 Alabama: 8 / 12 / 0
#7 Florida: 3 / 4 / 2
Win: Fouts (16-2)
Loss: Hightower (10-3)
RHP Hightower: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
LHP Pittman: 2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP Mesiemore: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
LHP Trlicek: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- CF Falby: 0-3, 3 K
- SS Wallace: 1-3, R, BB, 2 K, SB
- 2B Adams: 0-2, R, 2 BB
- 3B Echols: 1-4, RBI, K
- DP Walsh: 1-3, RBI
- RF Lindsey: 0-2, BB, K
- C Wilkie: 0-3, K
- 1B A. Goelz: 0-2, BB, K
- LF Kistler: 1-2, RBI, BB, K
The Gators will look to even the series Sunday on ESPN2 at 4 p.m.