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.
No. 3 Florida: 13 / 10 / 0
Jacksonville: 2 / 1 / 0
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
- LF Falby: 1-3, RBI
- RF Goddard: 1-2, 4 RBI, HR (1)
- SS Wallace: 1-2, 4 RBI, HR (2)
- 3B Echols: 2-3, RBI, HR (1)
- 2B Walsh: 0-2, RBI
- DH Roe: 2-3
- 1B A. Goelz: 1-3
- C Longley: 0-1
- 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.