Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

After jumping a spot in this week’s national rankings to No. 3, Florida run-ruled Jacksonville 13-2 on the road Tuesday.

The Gators are off to a 4-0 start to the season following a dominating performance at the USF Invitational.

Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle and hurled four shutout innings and struck out five batters. Right-hander Samantha Bender pitched the last inning and yielded a pair of runs on three walks and a hit-by-pitch.

At the plate, Florida produced double-digit hits for the second straight game. Outfielder Baylee Goddard put Florida on the board in the top of the first by scoring on a wild pitch. An inning later, the redshirt junior belted a three-run homer to left-center.

The Gators opened up an 8-0 lead in the third inning with back-to-back home runs. Shortstop Skylar Wallace pulled a three-run shot — her second home run in four games — down the right-field line before third baseman Charla Echols hit a solo shot.

Designated hitter Sam Roe continued a strong start to her sophomore season after going 2-3 at the dish. The Destin, Fla., native leads Florida’s starting lineup with a .600 batting average and a .714 on-base percentage to begin the year.

Box Score

No. 3 Florida: 13 / 10 / 0

Jacksonville: 2 / 1 / 0

Individual Stats

RHP Hightower (W, 2-0): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

RHP Bender: 1 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

  1. LF Falby: 1-3, RBI
  2. RF Goddard: 1-2, 4 RBI, HR (1)
  3. SS Wallace: 1-2, 4 RBI, HR (2)
  4. 3B Echols: 2-3, RBI, HR (1)
  5. 2B Walsh: 0-2, RBI
  6. DH Roe: 2-3
  7. 1B A. Goelz: 1-3
  8. C Longley: 0-1
  9. CF Kistler: 1-2

Home Opener On Deck

The Gators will return to Gainesville for their home opener Wednesday. They’ll face Jacksonville in a rematch at 6 p.m.

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