Florida softball drops series opener at Georgia

A special report from the UAA on the Florida Gators softball team:

ATHENS, Ga. – No. 5 Florida dropped the opening game of the series, 4-2, to No. 20 Georgia Saturday night at Jack Turner Stadium.

The Gators (25-4, 8-2 SEC) received 4.2 innings of work from right-hander Elizabeth Hightower (12-2), while the Bulldogs picked up a complete-game performance from Mary Wilson Avant (12-2) on the evening.

Baylee Goddard broke open the scoring and gave the Gators a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning of play. Julia Cottrill started the frame when she reached via an error on the right side of the Georgia infield and Goddard drove her home with a two-out blast over the left field wall.

Georgia responded in the bottom of the 3rdinning with a two-run home run of their own to tie the game 2-2. With one out on the board, Payden Bordeau lifted a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall to score Sydney Chambley, who reached a full-count walk.

The Bulldogs designated player Sara Mosley deposited a solo shot over the left field wall with one out to give Georgia its first lead of the game, 3-2, in the bottom of the 4thinning of play.

Georgia scratched across an insurance run in the 6th inning to extend its lead out to 4-2. Savana Sikes produced a two-out double down the left field line and advanced to third, advanced to third on a wild pitch and was scored on an RBI single through the left side of the infield.

Rylee Trlicek relieved Hightower in the circle and forced a lineout to a diving Goddard in right field to end the inning and strand two Georgia runners. The Hallettsville, Texas native also turned in scoreless 6th inning to keep the Gators within striking distance.

Florida was able to bring the tying run to the plate in the 6th and 7th inning, but Georgia found a way to escape the inning each time.

The Gators will look to even the series with the Bulldogs as the two teams return to action Sunday at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Notable Notes:

  • Florida still maintains a 40-28 advantage in the all-time series against Georgia.
  • Baylee Goddard belted her first home run of the season to give the Gators a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning of play.
    • It’s Goddard’s fifth home run of her career and first since March 4, 2020 against FGCU.
Bailiegh Carlton
A lifelong sports fan, Bailiegh Carlton knew from a young age that she wanted to work in sports in some capacity. Before transferring to the University of Florida to study journalism, she played softball at Gulf Coast State College. She then interned for Gator Country for three years as she worked toward her degree. After graduation, Bailiegh decided to explore other opportunities in the world of sports, but all roads led her right back here. In her time away, she and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. When she isn't working, she can almost always be found snuggled up with sweet baby Ridley, Cody and her four fur babies.