Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The eighth-ranked Florida softball team hits the road for a nonconference three game series at UAB this Friday through Sunday at Mary Bowers Field. Friday and Saturday’s games will be streamed digitally on ConferenceUSA.com and Sunday’s game being streamed on ESPN+.
The Gators (11-3) look to turn the page after a 1-3 showing at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. last weekend. The Orange & Blue defeated UC Riverside, but fell to No. 1 UCLA, No. 22 Oregon and in extra innings to Cal State Fullerton.
The Blazers (10-7) enter the weekend after going 3-2 at the Green & Gold Classic. UAB picked up a win against Cleveland State and two more against Butler, but fell twice to Louisiana-Monroe.
Florida heads into the weekend as the nation’s top-ranked scoring offense for the second consecutive week. UF is averaging a nation’s best 9.21 runs per game in addition to a .500 on base percentage. Leading the charge is redshirt-junior Skylar Wallace who boasts a team leading .545 average, 17 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Joining Wallace is junior Avery Goelz (.459), sophomore Kendra Falby (.442), Sam Roe (.400), Charla Echols (.375) and Reagan Walsh (.350), as each are batting over .350 so far on the season.
In the circle, the Gators have relied heavily on graduate senior Elizabeth Hightower (6-2) and senior Rylee Trlicek (4-1) as the duo has 35 2/3 and 25 1/3 innings pitched respectively. However, sophomore Lexie Delbrey (1-0) continues to work her way back into seeing more action and being a regular contributor to the pitching staff. The Bainbridge, Ga. native has a pair of outings under her belt with six innings of work.
UAB’s offense is spearheaded by Sierra Frazier. Frazier leads the Blazers in batting average (.417), hits (20), home runs (6) and RBI (18). The senior from Corona, Calif. is currently riding a six-game hit streak and has 32 career home runs. In the circle, sophomore Olivia Valbak (3-0) was named Conference USA’s Pitcher of the Week after she hurled a perfect game against Butler this past weekend. Valbak is supported by Caitlin Russell (3-0), Sarah Cespedes (4-3) and Leigha Kirby (0-4).
Friday, March 3 – 7 p.m. (ET)
ConferenceUSA.com – Link<https://conferenceusa.com/watch/default.aspx?Live=19725&path=uab>
Saturday, March 4 – 1 p.m. (ET)
ConferenceUSA.com – Link<https://conferenceusa.com/watch/default.aspx?Live=19726&path=uab>
Sunday, March 5, – 11 a.m. (ET)
ESPN+ – Link<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/9e1ab8a5-2976-4163-a1f4-e3af8cf879be>
Record | 11-3
Head Coach – Tim Walton
Record at UF – 899-204 | Career Record – 1,022-268
Record | 10-7
Head Coach – A.J. Daugherty
Record at UAB – 10-7 | Career Record – 10-7
Florida leads 4-0
Florida – 6, UAB – 0 | Feb. 11, 2018