While the event may have gotten cut short due to wet weather in the area over the weekend the No. 1 Florida softball team (16-0) was still able to keep up its winning ways going 4-0 in the Lipton Invitational hosted on campus at Katie Seashole Pressly stadium.
Day one saw Florida defeat Troy in game one 3-0 and Indiana 3-1 in game two to get the weekend off to a good start. Sophomore Kelsey Stewart had a hand in all three runs for the Gators in the shutout victory over Troy. Her infield single led the game off and then she ended up scoring after advancing to second and coming home on two separate throwing errors. Stewart then had a two RBI double in the fourth inning to plate the other two Florida runs.
In game two the runs came from the heart of the Gator lineup as hitters Chelsea Herndon, Lauren Haeger and Bailey Castro all had one RBI from the three, four and five spot in the Gators lineup.
On day two against the same opponents more offense showed up as the Gator bats dried off to bounce back from the rain delayed start the day before to score 20 runs in the two games beating Troy 12-2 and Indiana 8-0.
“The way we were doing it,” head coach Tim Walton said in a release after Friday’s games. “We weren’t necessarily hitting the ball over the fence or off the wall. We were just going with pitches, putting pitches in play with two strikes, bouncing balls. We got a couple bunts down and hit the ball the other way.”
As good as the Gators were from the plate they were just as effective in the pitcher’s circle. In the first game pitcher Lauren Haeger pitched a complete game with four strikeouts and allowing two hits and two earned runs. Game two was a complete shutdown by the orange and blue however when senior Hannah Rogers tossed a five inning no-hitter, the third no-no of her career. Walton raved about Rogers and Haeger as well as freshman Delanie Gourley who pitched a complete game Friday with a weekend high nine strikeouts.
“They’re really using their defense, and getting strikeouts when they need to,” Walton said. “I’m happy with all three of them right now. The pitch-calling has been great too. [Assistant Coach Jennifer Rocha] is doing a good job of keeping them working to their strengths.”
Florida was unable to face the other two teams in the Lipton Invitational Georgia Southern and Coastal Carolina because rain cancelled all games Sunday. The Gators will be back in action Friday when they face Oregon in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Orlando.