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Florida Athletics | February 28, 2014

No. 1 Florida defeats No. 4 Oregon in extra-inning thriller

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Gators (17-0) earned their second win of the season against a top-five opponent, defeating No. 4 Oregon 2-1 (8 innings) on Friday in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Senior Hannah Rogers improved to 7-0 on the year, allowing one earned run on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in her sixth complete game of the season. Junior Lauren Haeger provided an offensive spark for the Gators with a solo home run in the fourth inning, and sophomore Kelsey Stewart sealed the victory in the eighth when she scored on a wild pitch.

Both offenses were quiet in the early going, as the Ducks got the only hit through the first two innings. Oregon got on the board in the bottom of the third when a run scored on a Florida throwing error. Haeger provided an answer for the Gators with her solo blast to left-center field that tied the game at one apiece.

Florida threatened in the fifth, when Stewart walked and stole second. Oregon stifled the Florida rally by cutting Stewart down at the plate when she tried to score on a single by Kirsti Merritt. Rogers held the Ducks without a hit in the fourth and fifth innings, and neither team was able to convert on a hit apiece in the sixth.

Oregon had the potential winning run on second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but a key defensive play by third baseman Stephanie Tofft started a 5-3 double play to end the threat and send the game into extra innings. Under international tiebreaker rules, Stewart was placed on second base to begin the eighth inning, and Merritt moved her to third on a sacrifice bunt before the wild pitch allowed Stewart to come home with the deciding run.

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