Florida Gators softball comes back to defeat Mississippi State

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The 10th-ranked Florida softball team rallied to defeat Mississippi State, 7-6, Saturday afternoon against No. 17 Mississippi State at Nusz Park. The series win is the third-straight Southeastern Conference series win of the season.

After trailing 6-2, the Gators (31-5, 7-1 SEC) scored five unanswered runs to take the series, 2-1, over the Bulldogs (25-8, 6-5 SEC).

Mississippi State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second and took an early 2-0 lead over Florida. A pair of one-out back-to-back-to-back singles was able to plate the first run of the game. While it was later followed up with a RBI walk to make it 2-0.

MSU followed up with another run in the bottom of the third inning to extend their lead out to 3-0. Again, the Bulldogs loaded the bases on a series of singles, which ultimately led to a SAC fly to left center that was reeled in by Kendra Falby.

Florida bounced back in the top of the fourth inning and closed down the lead to 3-2. Reagan Walsh drew a full-count walk to lead off the inning, which was then followed by a one-out two-run home run by Ava Brown. The home run by Brown was her third of the series and eighth of the year.

The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead out to 6-2. MSU was able to load the bases on three consecutive singles, which set the stage for a SAC fly and a two-RBI double to center field.

The Gators responded once again in the top of the fifth inning with a two-run frame that closed down the lead to 6-4. Falby and Skylar Wallace led the frame with a single and a double respectively. Otis drove home Falby via a SAC fly and Wallace scored on Erickson’s fielder’s choice as she slid under the tag at home plate.

Florida took its first lead of the game in the top of the seventh with a three-run frame and went ahead of MSU 7-6. Falby’s speed forced the Bulldogs to make an error that allowed her to reach first, which was followed up by Wallace’s fourth triple of the year to close down the lead to 6-5, and Jocelyn Erickson ripped a two-run home run down the right field line to give UF its first lead of the game 7-5.

Keagan Rothrock (15-3) buckled down and held MSU to just one hit in the final frame of the game and retired the Bulldogs best batter via a flyout to left field for the final out of the game.
Next up of the Gators is a short trip down to DeLand, Fla. to take on Stetson this Wednesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. ET.

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.