Florida used a sophomore Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) solo shot and a sophomore Jess Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) sac fly to take the series at Auburn with a 2-0 victory Sunday in the final game of the three-game set at Jane B. Moore Field. The Gators improved to 25-2 (2-1 SEC) on the season, while Auburn moved to 18-7 (1-2 SEC).
Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) tossed a three-hit shutout to improve to 13-2 overall this season in the circle for the Gators. Rogers fanned two, walked three and let her defense go to work to close out the game.
Fuller accounted for UF’s lone hit of the game, putting on a 1-for-2 performance with a walk, run and RBI from her home run, while also putting on a defensive display behind the plate, throwing out an AU runner on the base paths.
Florida drew four free passes Sunday, led by sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.), who was on base three times with a walk and two hit-by-pitches. Little led the Gators at the plate through the past week of play with a .667 batting clip (6-for-9) with a double, homer, four RBI, two walks, three hit-by-pitches, a .786 on-base mark, a 1.111 slugging percentage and a stolen base to help aid UF’s 3-1 effort this past week.
Both the Gators and Tigers went three up, three down in the first stanza and Florida left Little on third in the top of the second after her first hit-by-pitch of the game. Auburn’s Emily Carosone sent the first hit of the game up the middle in the home half of the second, but with two down for the Tigers, Fuller connected with shortstop Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) to catch Carosone swiping second to retire the side.
After Fuller gunned down Carosone to end the second frame, the Gator catcher went yard on the first pitch of the third inning to knock her first career bomb donning a Gator uniform and take UF up, 1-0.
Florida scratched its second run of the game across home on a sophomore Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) sac fly in the top of the fourth after sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) drew a leadoff walk and Little was hit by her 11th pitch of the season – second of the game, third of series – allowing senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) to bunt both into scoring position, her second sac bunt of the day. Haeger then crossed home on the Damico sac fly to left for the 2-0 Gator lead.
Haeger and Horton both batted .333 on the week behind Little, Haeger going 4-for-12 with a homer and four RBI and Horton 3-for-9 with a double and RBI to contribute to UF’s efforts Wednesday through Sunday.
Florida maintained the two-run advantage through the fifth, sixth and seventh, turning a double play in the fifth to strand an Auburn runner on, while averting a Tiger threat in the bottom of the sixth with two runners in scoring position when Rogers handled the pressure – and a bouncer back to the circle – to keep the AU off the board.
Rogers returned with two groundouts and a foul out to sit the side down in the bottom of the seventh and seal the win for the Orange and Blue.
Auburn’s Lexi Davis moved to 5-3 in the circle for the Tigers with the complete-game effort. Davis fanned four on the afternoon, held UF to its one hit and two runs.
NEXT UP FOR THE GATORS
Following its weekend set with Auburn, Florida will return back to the Sunshine State and enjoy a week free of competition before hosting SEC Eastern Division rival Tennessee in the Gators’ SEC home opener at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium March 15-17. UF’s series with the Lady Vols will start an eight-game home stand for the Orange and Blue to finish out the month of March. Always a pivotal series in the SEC standings, all three Gators | Vols match-ups will air on television: Sun Sports Friday, ESPNU Saturday and FSN Sunday. First pitch between UF and UT is 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday from KSP.
Courtesy of UF Communications