After splitting the first two games at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas, No. 8 Florida suffered a 14-1 run-rule loss to the No. 12 Razorbacks Sunday to drop its first SEC series this year.
The Gators drop to 3-3 in conference play — seventh in the SEC — and 6-2 on the road.
Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower started Friday’s series opener and Sunday’s series finale en route to picking up a pair of losses. Hightower entered the series with a 10-2 record but yielded six earned runs across 4 2/3 innings.
Sophomore right-hander Lexie Delbrey started game two and allowed four earned runs through the first three innings before senior southpaw Rylee Trlicek threw four shutout frames en route to an 11-4 victory. Trlicek struck out five batters — matching her season-high — and improved to 8-1 this season.
At the plate, shortstop Skylar Wallace drove in Florida’s only run Sunday via a solo shot to left-center.
Wallace scored the first run of the series Friday after she led the game off with a walk, stole her team-leading 17th base this season, and scored on a fielder’s choice. The redshirt junior scored Florida’s only other run Friday after she hit an infield single in the top of the fifth and scored on an Arkansas error.
In Saturday’s nationally televised game, the Gators stepped up at the plate. Third baseman Charla Echols belted a two-run homer — her seventh this year — in her first at-bat before she hit a three-run double in the sixth inning to cap off her fourth game this year with at least 5 RBIs. Echols leads the SEC with 42 RBIs and ranks No. 4 in the nation.
In the top of the fourth, senior right fielder Sarah Longley extended Florida’s lead with a three-run bomb — her fourth home run this year.
Game 1 Box Score
Florida: 2 / 5 / 1
Arkansas: 6 / 7 / 2
Game 2 Box Score
Florida: 11 / 8 / 1
Arkansas: 4 / 5 / 1
Game 3 Box Score
Florida: 1 / 2 / 1
Arkansas: 14 / 12 / 0
The Gators will return to Gainesville to host Stetson Wednesday before they travel to Columbia, South Carolina, to face the Gamecocks in a three-game series starting Friday. Florida beat Stetson 4-1 on the road last Wednesday and won 15 of their last 16 games against South Carolina.