Seven-run fourth inning lifts Florida to 9-0 victory against Washington
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida defeated Washington 9-0 (five innings) on Saturday in the opener of their super regional at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The Gators produced a seven-run fourth inning in support of Hannah Rogers, whose complete-game effort marked her second shutout of this NCAA tournament.
Rogers allowed a pair of one-out walks in the top of the first, but forced a popup and recorded a strikeout to work out of the jam. Kelsey Stewart led off the home half with a single up the middle, but she was stranded. Rogers, Florida’s senior right-hander, retired Washington in order to begin the second inning before Bailey Castro started the bottom of the frame with a walk. Aubree Munro roped a two-out double down the left-field line to score Castro for the game’s first run.
The Gators (49-11) took a 1-0 lead to the third, and Rogers left a Husky runner on following a two-out single to keep her team in front. Florida loaded the bases on a single by Stewart and walks to Stephanie Tofft and Lauren Haeger, and a free pass to Castro put the Gators ahead by two runs. Washington (36-14) had a leadoff single in the fourth, but Rogers (25-8) retired the side with a strikeout sandwiched around two flyouts.
Florida sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth. Munro singled up the middle to begin the offensive outburst, and Kathlyn Medina followed with a double down the left-field line to set up Stewart’s sacrifice fly, putting Florida ahead 3-0. Tofft then beat out a single to short, plating Medina and growing the UF lead to four. After Haeger walked and Briana Little was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Castro drove in Tofft on a fielder’s choice before being lifted for pinch runner Justine McLean. Kirsti Merritt and Taylor Schwarz then drew bases-loaded walks to score Haeger and Little, making the score 7-0. Munro followed with an RBI single that brought home McLean, and Medina then plated Schwarz on a base hit through the left side to cap Florida’s seven-run frame.
Washington had a leadoff single and a one-out base hit in the fifth before Rogers finished the shutout with a strikeout and a popup, giving Florida a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.