After losing 1-0 to Kentucky in Sunday’s rubber match in Lexington to close the regular season, Florida bounced back with a 6-2 victory over the Wildcats Thursday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to advance to the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals.
The Gators hopped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after shortstop Skylar Wallace led off with a four-pitch walk and scored on third baseman Charla Echols’ sacrifice fly.
Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle and delivered three shutout frames before she surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the fourth. In the top of the fifth, Hightower handed the ball over to southpaw Rylee Trlicek, who recorded the final nine outs without allowing a run.
Florida freshman Kaila Pollard went yard in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game before Wallace led off the fifth with a solo shot to regain the lead.
The Gators tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth before Echols drove in Wallace with two outs in the sixth. It marks Echols’ 16th multi-RBI game this year as the Georgia native leads the SEC and ranks top-10 in the nation with 63 RBIs.
The Gators are the No. 8 seed in the tournament, while the Wildcats were the No. 9 seed. Florida will face No. 1 Tennessee in the quarterfinals Friday at 11 a.m. ET on the SEC Network. The Lady Vols swept the Gators last month in Knoxville, which included a five-inning, run-rule series opener. Tennessee led the conference with a 19-5 record and finished the season with over 40 wins overall (41-8).
#9 UK: 2 / 8 / 0
#8 UF: 6 / 9 / 0
Win: Trlicek (13-4)
Loss: Schoonover (12-2)
RHP Hightower: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
LHP Trlicek: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
- SS Wallace: 2-2, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, HR (19)
- LF Falby: 1-4, R, K
- 3B Echols: 2-3, R, 2 RBI
- 2B Walsh: 0-3, RBI
- RF Egan: 1-3, RBI
- DP Pollard: 1-2, R, RBI, BB, HR (3)
- 1B A. Goelz: 0-3
- CF Kistler: 1-2, BB
- C Longley: 1-2, K