After dropping last weekend’s road series to South Carolina, No. 15 Florida bounced back with two straight home wins against No. 19 Auburn before losing the series finale Saturday.
The Gators improve to 28-10 overall, 17-3 at home, and 6-6 in conference play — tied with No. 12 LSU and No. 16 Alabama for sixth place in the SEC.
Game 1 Box Score (F/8)
No. 19 Auburn: 2 / 5 / 1
No. 15 Florida: 3 / 4 / 1
Friday’s series opener went to extra innings before Florida second baseman Reagan Walsh singled home shortstop Skylar Wallace in the bottom of the eighth.
Wallace also scored Florida’s second run in the third inning after she hit an opposite-field RBI triple. The redshirt junior’s seventh triple this year is tied for the nation’s lead.
Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower pitched the first seven frames before southpaw Rylee Trlicek entered the circle in extras and picked up her ninth win this season.
Game 2 Box Score
No. 19 Auburn: 3 / 7 / 0
No. 15 Florida: 6 / 8 / 0
Hightower made her 17th start of the year Friday and improved to 12-5. The Gators held a 6-1 advantage entering the top of the fifth until Hightower gave up a two-run homer. With no outs, Trlicek came in for relief and pitched three shutout innings to record her second save this year.
At the plate, third baseman Charla Echols gave Florida an early lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. Two innings later, right fielder Pal Egan hit a go-ahead, two-run shot — her fifth home run this year.
In the fourth, Echols poked a two-run single up the middle and Walsh hit a sacrifice fly to extend Florida’s lead. Echols leads the SEC with 46 RBIs.
In the top of the fifth, sophomore center fielder Kendra Falby made a leaping catch on the warning track to record the second out.
Game 3 Box Score
No. 19 Auburn: 7 / 3 / 0
No. 15 Florida: 0 / 4 / 2
Right-hander Samantha Bender made her first career start for Florida in Saturday’s series finale. The Tennessee graduate transfer’s outing was brief as Bender recorded just one out before allowing a three-run homer.
Sophomore right-hander Lexie Delbrey entered the circle in relief and pitched the remainder of the game. After hurling 105 pitches, Delbrey struck out eight batters and yielded three unearned runs on no hits and four walks.
At the dish, the Gators produced just four hits and drew only two walks en route to stranding six baserunners. Sophomore catcher Sam Roe — who started as Florida’s designated player — went 1-2 with a walk and a triple.
The Gators will return to KSP Stadium Wednesday to face UNF before they welcome No. 14 Georgia for a three-game series next weekend. The Bulldogs lead the SEC with an 11-2 record and will look to sweep No. 8 Arkansas on the road Saturday night.