Special to GC
The No. 6/8 Gator Softball team defeated No. 8/7 Florida State, 4-2, on Wednesday (April 9) at JoAnne Graf Field. Florida (35-8) received another strong performance in the circle from senior right-hander Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) who improved to 17-6 on the season as she allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with five walks and four strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
The contest opened as a pitchers’ duel, with both pitchers firing blanks for the first three innings. Florida State posted a walk and a hit in the second, but Rogers ended the threat with a popout to second and a flyout to right. The Gators got on the board in the fourth when Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) hit a bases-loaded single through the left side to score Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) and Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.).
Rogers walked one batter and hit another in the bottom of the fourth, but induced two fielder’s choices and a groundout to keep the Seminoles scoreless. Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) drew a two-out walk in the fifth before she was caught stealing for the third out. FSU had runners at first and third after a pair two-out singles off Rogers in the bottom of the inning, but Rogers induced a groundout to end the inning.
The Seminoles cut Florida’s lead to 2-1 in the sixth with an RBI single down the right-field line. Stephanie Tofft(Lincoln, Calif.) was hit by a pitch in the seventh before Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run to left field that extended the Gator advantage to 4-1 and chased FSU starter Lacey Waldrop.
Florida State added an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh on a one-out infield single, but the Seminoles got no closer as Rogers induced a popout and groundout to finish off Florida’s 4-2 win.