Tim Walton earns 600th win as No. 5 Florida completes sweep of Texas A&M
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Fifth-ranked Florida completed a sweep of No. 21 Texas A&M on Easter Sunday. The Gators (40-8, 11-7 SEC) defeated the Aggies (29-17, 9-12 SEC) 8-0 in six innings to extend their winning streak to nine games. The win marked the 600th career victory in the 12-year career of Florida head coach Tim Walton.
“It says a lot about the people we’ve brought it here to play and to compete, and [it shows] how hard we work,” said Walton.
Right-hander Hannah Rogers improved to 20-6 on the year after she allowed one hit over six innings, with one hit batter and nine strikeouts.
“I’ve been working hard, throwing more in the bullpen," said Rogers. "I’m focusing on spots and location, whether it’s high, low or in the zone for each pitch. I’m working on reading the batter in the box and little things like that.”
Kelsey Stewart led off the game with a home run down the right-field line. After Kirsti Merritt reached on an error by the Texas A&M shortstop, Stephanie Tofft homered to right field to extend the Florida lead to 3-0. Rogers struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.
The Gators added two more runs in the second. Stewart hit a one-out double to set up an RBI single by Tofft, and the senior came home on a double to left from Lauren Haeger. Rogers retired all three batters via swinging strikeouts in the bottom of the frame.
Florida increased its lead to six in the third when Aubree Munro drew a two-out walk and came home three batters later on an RBI groundout by Merritt. The Aggies got their first baserunner in the bottom of the inning when Rogers hit a batter with one out, but Merritt made a diving catch in center field on the next play to start an inning-ending double play.
Tofft and Little singled for the Orange and Blue in the fourth, but both were stranded. Rogers set down Texas A&M in order in the bottom of the frame, including two strikeouts. Kathlyn Medina was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth, and she came home on an RBI groundout by Merritt to push Florida’s lead to 7-0. Rogers retired the Aggies on a flyout and two groundouts in the bottom of the frame.
Haeger homered to lead off the sixth, raising the UF advantage to eight. A&M got its first hit of the game on a single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but a flyout to center sealed the sweep for the Gators.