After run-ruling Stetson at home last Wednesday, No. 13 Florida struck out 15 times in Sunday’s away rubber match against South Carolina to drop back-to-back SEC series.
The Gators lost Friday’s series opener in a 13-10 shootout before they bounced back with an 8-1 victory Saturday. On Sunday, South Carolina right-hander Donnie Gobourne hurled a one-hitter en route to a series-clinching 3-0 win over the Orange and Blue.
Florida gave up a four-run lead in the sixth inning Friday after senior southpaw Rylee Trick allowed six unearned runs following a dropped third strike that would’ve stranded the bases loaded. At the plate, Gator shortstop Skylar Wallace, center fielder Kendra Falby and catcher Sam Roe all produced multi-hit performances. Wallace and Falby each hit three singles, while Roe went 2-3 with a walk and a bases-clearing triple.
On Saturday, Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle and threw her fifth complete game this season en route to earning her 11th win this year. Wallace produced another three-hit effort at the dish — including her team-leading sixth triple — while second baseman Reagan Walsh and right fielder Pal Egan put the Gators on the scoreboard courtesy of back-to-back home runs in the top of the first.
In Sunday’s rubber match, Hightower drew another start but conceded two earned runs across four frames before Trlicek entered the circle in relief and delivered two shutout innings. Offensively, Florida produced just six baserunners via four walks, a hit-by-pitch, and outfielder Katie Kistler’s seventh-inning double. The Gators stranded three baserunners in the top of the first before Gobourne settled into cruise control and struck out a season-high 15 batters.
Following the weekend, Florida falls to 26-9 overall, 4-5 in conference play and 7-4 on the road.
Game 1 Box Score
No. 13 Florida: 10 / 9 / 2
South Carolina: 13 / 8 / 1
Game 2 Box Score
No. 13 Florida: 8 / 12 / 0
South Carolina: 1 / 4 / 2
Game 3 Box Score
No. 13 Florida: 0 / 1 / 1
South Carolina: 3 / 5 / 0
The Gators will return to the Sunshine State to welcome No. 19 Auburn for a three-game home series set to begin on Thursday. Florida (4-5) enters the series two games behind Auburn (6-3) in the conference standings, but the Gators are 8-2 versus the Tigers dating back to 2019.