The No. 13 seeded Florida Softball team (49-21) lost its first NCAA Super Regional game, 2-0, to No. 4 seeded Texas A&M (45-11) in College Station, Texas. The Aggies scored their two runs on seven hits, while the Gators tallied scattered three hits through the game. 1,045 fans were on hand to watch the game.
“I thought both teams played well,” Florida head coach Tim Walton said. “I think the difference was, obviously they got a couple timely hits and their pitcher really was in a groove from the beginning and didn’t really fall out of the groove. I think that was a big statement for them.”
Texas A&M got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. Jami Lobpries led off the inning with a base hit to right. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alex Reynolds. A base hit to left by Macie Morrow put Aggie runners at first and third. Joy Davis found herself safe at first on a fielder’s choice play from second to home, but Lobpries avoided the tag to score the first run of the game.
The Aggies took a 2-0 lead on a home run by Megan Gibson in the bottom of the third. It was only the fourth home run Florida sophomore pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) had given up all season.
Florida got its first base runner on in the top of the third as senior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) drew a lead off walk on a full count from Amanda Scarborough. She stole second to put herself in scoring position. She would get no further though as the next three Gators went down on two strikeouts and a ground out to second.
Freshman Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) grabbed the Gators first hit of the game with a base hit through the left side with one out in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) came in to pinch run for her. Johnson successfully stole second for her 16th steal of the year. The next two Gator batters went down on strikes to end the Gator threat.
Florida had its best chance to score in the sixth. Sophomore Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) led off the Gator half of the inning with a base hit slapped up the middle. Senior Shelley Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) came in to pinch run for her. Sophomore Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) drove an 0-2 count down the left side to put two Gator runners on for the first time in the game. A sacrifice bunt by senior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) put both runners in scoring position at second and third. Senior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.) walked on four straight balls from Scarborough to load the bases. Sophomore Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) was safe on a fielder’s choice, but Stevens was thrown out at home for the second out of the inning. The inning ended with bases loaded as Scarborough struck out the final batter of the inning to end the Gator threat.
Scarborough improved to 25-7 on the season as she struck out eight Gators in the win. Nelson moved to 33-14.
There was a 17 minute rain delay with one strike on Florida’s leadoff batter in the top of the second.
The two teams will face off again at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday. Should Florida win that game, a second game will follow 30 minutes after the first to decide the Super Regional champion. Both games will air live on ESPN.
Courtesy UF Sports Info.