softball-d1 flag | May 3, 2023

Florida State softball holds off Florida 8-7 in a nail-biter

Florida softball's all-time starting lineup

Florida State held off the Gators in the bottom of the seventh to hold on to an 8-7 lead and win the second mid-week matchup.  FSU took down the Gators in the first matchup, 5-3, on April 26. 

See the recap of both of their games, below: 

Florida State vs. Florida: Scores

Wednesday, May 3:

  • No. 3 Florida State 8, No. 17 Florida 7 | Box score

Wednesday, April 26:

  • No. 4 Florida State 5, No. 15 Florida 3 | Box score

FSU holds on to a one-run 8-7 victory

This one came down to the wire. In the high-scoring slugfest, the Gators held the Seminoles scoreless in the top of the seventh with the chance to walk it off. With two outs and one runner on, Kendra Falby kept the Gators hopes alive with their best hitter, Skylar Wallace stepping up to the plate. But, FSU intentionally walked Wallace, who had already gone yard twice in the game. That brought Charla Echols up to the plate, who popped one up right away for the last out of the ballgame. The Seminoles escaped and walked away with their second win over the Gators.

Jahni Kerr led the Noles at the plate going 3-for-3 with three RBI and a walk. FSU used three pitchers in the battle but Allison Royalty was awarded the win and Makenna Reid picked up the big-time save. 

UF 7-8 FSU - B6 | Both teams just keep on scoring, Wallace hit her second bomb of the night

FSU tacked on another run in the top of the sixth on a sac-fly before Skylar Wallace launched her second homer of the night to get back with in one once again. The Gators have now hit three home runs on the game. 

UF 6-7 FSU - B5 | A 2-run 💣 puts the Gators within one

Sarah Longley hit her first homer since March 29 for the first hit of the night with a runner on base to get the Gators back within one. 

UF 4-7 FSU - T5 | Seminoles plate four runs to take a three-run lead

The FSU offense came alive in the top of the fifth to score four runs and re-take the lead. A one-out back-to-back single and double put two runners on when Dack singled down the right field line to score two runs. A walk and fielders choice re-loaded up the bases as Florida continued to struggle in the circle, then Kerr doubled to send another two runners home. The Seminoles now have a 7-4 lead. 

UF 4-3 FSU - B4 | Skylar Wallace solo bomb gives Florida the lead

And with one swing of the bat, Wallace took a 4-3 lead for the Gators in the bottom of the fourth. The homer was her 17th of the season. 

UF 3-3 FSU B3 | Florida ties up the ballgame

Kendra Falby got the inning started with a single and stole second. Echols reached on an error and Falby scored to get within one. Then another weird sequence of a walk, fielders choice and walk sent the tying run home, unearned. 

UF 1-3 FSU - T3 | Rylee Trilicek gets Gators out of a jam

The Seminoles loaded the bases for the second straight inning and chased Delbrie out of the game. Rylee Trilicek got the ball and got her team out of a bases loaded jam to avoid further damage. 

UF 1-3 FSU - T2 | Back-to-back hits give the Seminoles a two-run lead

Three runs across for the Seminoles in the top of the second gave FSU a 3-1 lead. Yet another unusual sequence of events led to FSU tying up the ballgame. A single by Devin Flaherty, two walks and hit by pitch sent the tying runner home for FSU in the top of the second. Kaley Mudge then singled just off the glove of Regan Walsh to score Flaherty and then Jahni Kerr singled to right field to score the third run of the inning. 

UF 1-0 FSU - B1 | Echols drives in a run on a groundout to take early lead

The Gators got on the board first in the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. It wasn't necessarily pretty, but a run nonetheless. They managed to get it done without a single hit. The sequence instead went like this — Skylar Wallace was walked, and then Mack Leonard threw two wild pitches before Charla Echols grounded out to allow Wallace to reach home. 

Lineups for Game 2

We are almost ready for Game 2 of the rivalry series between UF and FSU. Here are the full lineups heading into tonight's matchup. This time around the Gators are going with Lexie Delbrey to start in the circle and FSU is notably going with Mack Leonard. Leonard who is typically just an offensive threat has pitched 18.0 innings this season with a 3.89 ERA and 19 Ks. 

FSU lineup
UF Lineup

FINAL: FSU takes the first of two, 5-3

Florida State softball

The Seminoles picked up their 40th win of the season at the expense of their bitter rivals on Wednesday. The Gators were held scoreless in the final four innings and a three-run bottom of the fourth sealed the deal for the fourth-ranked Noles.

Final stats from Tallahassee:

Florida-Florida State softball final stats

UF 3-5 FSU - B4 | Noles take the lead yet again 🍢

Josie Muffley puts the Seminoles in front with this two-run double in the fourth inning, her 20th and 21st RBIs of the season. The base hit chased Elizabeth Hightower from the circle, who finishes with three innings pitched and five runs allowed on five hits.

UF 3-2 FSU - T3 | Gators finally get a base hit after opportunistic hitting 🐊

Yes, you read that right. Reagan Walsh's homer to right-center field was Florida's first base hit of the ballgame, but they lead in the third inning. The first two runs were scored by baserunners who reached via a walk and error. Both scored on sac flies.

The Gators have taken full advantage of everything they have been given and take the lead for a third time in this back-and-forth contest.

UF 1-2 FSU - B2 | Dack shows power to give FSU the lead

FSU slugger Katie Dack turned on two pitches from Florida starter Elizabeth Hightower, pulling the first just foul — missing out on her team-high 11th of the season — and nearly leaving the yard on the very next pitch.

This fly ball was inches from being a round-tripper, but the extra-base hit drove in the go-ahead run for the Seminoles, who have scored in both innings so far.

Lineups out for Game 1

Here's how each team will look for this first in-state rivalry clash. No surprise, the Gators will be led off by Skylar Wallace and her .482 batting average — the fourth highest in all of DI softball.

Meanwhile, the Seminoles may not have any hitters flirting with a .500 BA, but they have seven players hitting .300 or better, meaning virtually no one is an easy out one through nine.

Florida-Florida State softball lineups

Florida vs. Florida State preview

FSU has been dominant in recent years, and has taken down the Gators in their last three matchups. The Seminoles have been successful all season with consistency in their lineup. Seven players are hitting above .300 and three have eight or more homers on the season. They have some star power in the circle too with Kathryn Sandercock leading the way. Sandercock is a vet with WCWS experience, and this year she sports a 1.10 ERA, 17-3 record and 69 strikeouts. In addition to Sandercock, they have Makenna Reid as an option. Check out these stats — 10-0 record with a 0.93 ERA and 67 Ks through about half as many innings pitched as Sandercock. 

The Gators will go with either Elizabeth Hightower or Rylee Trilicek in the circle. Hightower sports a 3.05 ERA, 14-8 record and 66 strikeouts. Offensively, Skylar Wallace is clearly the star with the most production at the plate. Wallace is hitting .481 with 15 homers and slugging 1.093. Extremely impressive numbers. Kendra Falby is another player to know for the Gators. 

Both teams have impressive offensive production, but the Seminoles have the upper hand in the circle heading into the matchup. In order for the Gators to pull off the win, their pitching needs to be lights out.

Pitching comparison

As mentioned earlier, the Seminoles have the upper hand in the circle heading into the matchup. But since these are mid-week games, it is hard to be certain who each team's starting pitcher will be. Typically, we might see another arm to keep the typical starters ready for the weekend series, but in such a big game, they might go with their aces. Last matchup, the Gators went with Hightower and FSU went Reid. 

(all pitching stats as of April 29)

team player W-L IP ERA SO B/AVG
  Elizabeth Hightower 14-10 119.2 3.33 76 .225
  Rylee Trilicek 12-3 90.2 3.09 43 .244
  Lexi Delbrie 6-2 64 3.01 43 .199
Florida State            
  Kathryn Sandercock 17-3 122.1 1.20 75 .187
  Makenna Reid 11-0 58.2 0.95 73 .129
  Allison Royalty 7-1 58.2 2.03 47 .202

Each team's last 10 games

(records as of April 29)

UF (33-16, 9-11 SEC) 4-6 11-4 @ #17 ARK., 3/25 7-3 @ MISSOURI, 3/17 4-8
FSU (42-8, 18-2 ACC) 9-1 7-5 @ #3 OK ST., 3/10 5-4 vs. LONGWOOD., 2/11 12-6

Florida vs. Florida State softball history

Florida is 28-21 all-time against Florida State softball, however, the Gators have lost the last three matchups dating back to 2021. Last season, Florida State won both games with a narrow 2-1 victory on May 4. Kathryn Sandercock picked up the win for the Seminoles and Elizabeth Hightower registered the loss in the circle. It is likely we see the same two pitchers facing off in the circle this year. 

Click or tap here to see the full head-to-head series history, since 1997.

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Division I
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May 30 - June 6/7, 2024
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