Following a 10-0 start to the season, Florida lost three of four games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, California.
The Gators suffered a run-rule loss to UCLA – the nation’s top-ranked team — Thursday night. Sophomore second baseman Reagan Walsh was Florida’s only baserunner as UCLA right-hander Megan Faraimo struck out nine batters in only five innings.
The Gators bounced back Friday with a shutout victory over UC Riverside as right-hander Elizabeth Hightower hurled a complete game and earned her sixth win this season. At the plate, Walsh went 3-3 and freshman shortstop Kaila Pollard went 2-3 with a pair of RBIs.
On Saturday, Florida got shut out by Oregon before falling to Cal State Fullerton in extra innings. Sophomore outfielder Kendra Falby recorded Florida’s only hit against Oregon via a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth.
Sophomore right-hander Lexie Delbrey made just her second appearance of the year against Cal State Fullerton and yielded three unearned runs through three frames. In extras, junior outfielder Katie Kistler hit an RBI single to give the Gators a 4-3 lead. But Hightower gave up a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to cap off an underwhelming west-coast trip.
Game 1 Box Score
No. 3 Florida: 0 / 0 / 1
No. 1 UCLA: 10 / 12 / 0
Game 2 Box Score
UC Riverside: 0 / 5 / 1
No. 3 Florida: 7 / 11 / 1
Game 3 Box Score
No. 22 Oregon: 8 / 9 / 1
No. 3 Florida: 0 / 1 / 1
Game 4 Box Score
No. 3 Florida: 4 / 10 / 2
Cal State Fullerton: 5 / 8 / 1
The Gators will return to the softball diamond Friday in Birminham, Alabama, to face UAB in a three-game series. The Orange and Blue will return to Gainesville on March 8 to welcome in-state rival UCF.