Special to GC
Tallahassee, Fla. - The No. 3-ranked University of Florida softball team defeated in-state rival Florida State, 5-1, on Wednesday night at JoAnne Graf Field. Senior Bailey Castro hit two solo home runs to spark the Gator offense as UF improved its record 37-4. Florida opened the scoring when Castro led off the second inning with a home run to left field. The Gators' rally continued when Lauren Haeger walked and advanced to third on Aubree Munro's double, then came home on an infield single by Justine McLean. The Orange and Blue ran the lead to 3-0 in the third when Munro drew a bases-loaded walk to score Nicole DeWitt, who had doubled to lead off the frame. Florida State got a run back in the bottom of the third when a one-out infield single scored a runner from third who had doubled to lead off the inning. The Gators then scored for the third straight inning as Kelsey Stewart roped a one-out double to center to set up an RBI single by DeWitt. Castro led off the fifth with her second home run of the game, this time to straightaway center. The four-run cushion was more than enough for Haeger, who allowed one earned run on five hits over seven innings with one walk and six strikeouts as the Gators remained perfect in 29 nonconference games this season. STARS OF THE GAMES * Bailey Castro: The senior hit her second and third career home runs against the Seminoles, sparking the Gator offense. * Aubree Munro: Florida's third-year catcher knocked a base hit for the third straight game with her second-inning double, leading to UF's second run. She earned a bases-loaded walk in the next frame to extend the lead. * Lauren Haeger: The right-hander won her 17th consecutive decision to remain undefeated on the year. NOTABLES * Florida won at FSU for the eighth straight time dating back to 2008. * The Gators now lead the all-time series against the Seminoles 20-14. * UF has taken 12 of 13 against FSU since 2007. * The Orange and Blue have won 35 consecutive non-SEC games dating back to last year. * Castro homered in Tallahassee for the second consecutive year. * The senior has two multi-home run games in the last four times out after having two such contests in her first three seasons; before this stretch, she had gone through a 10-game homer drought. * The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native extended her hitting streak to five games, tying her season and career highs. * Castro's three career home runs against the Seminoles lead all current Gators. * Munro has hit her first two doubles of the year in the last three games (also: 4/4 vs. South Carolina, Game 1). * The Brea, Calif., native has six RBI in her last six contests after posting just five in her first 25 games. * DeWitt doubled twice on the night, bringing her season total to six. * The freshman has four doubles in seven games dating back to March 28. * Stewart's first-inning stolen base was the 91st of the junior's career, extending her school record. * The junior's double marked her first career extra-base hit against FSU. * The Wichita, Kan., native has 14 two-baggers on the season, which leads the team and ties her career high from last year. WALTON'S WORDS On the win to start a week that includes four games against ranked opponents: "I think it's good. We came off [the series against] South Carolina and continued our winning ways on the road. That's valuable for us to continue to get better." On Castro's increased production during recent games: "We've made the proper swing adjustments. I think she's feeling good, feeling confident. She's getting good pitches to hit, but overall, I think we've made the right adjustments offensively - the right mechanical adjustments to get her swing on a better plane, and she's doing a better job of swinging at good pitches." - Florida Head Coach Tim Walton UP NEXT Florida will open a three-game series against No. 13 Kentucky on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. Live streaming will be available through participating television providers on SEC Network+<http://es.pn/1F2cXuv> via WatchESPN. WGGG (1230-AM)<http://www.floridasportstalk.fm/> will have the radio broadcast with Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call, and a live stats link can be found on the schedule page<http://www.gatorzone.com/schedule.php?sport=softb> on GatorZone.com.