The Florida Gators squared off against the FAMU Rattlers in their opening game of the Gainesville Regional.
The Gators put six quick runs on the board to kick off the action, beginning with Kelsey Stewart’s leadoff triple. Stephanie Tofft came to the plate next, and reached on an error by the center fielder, which allowed Stewart to score. Next up was Lauren Haeger, who emptied the bases with a two RBI homer, making the score 3-0.
The bases were empty, but not for long. Brianna Little drew a five-pitch walk, but was out at second on a fielder’s choice from Bailey Castro. Kirsti Merritt singled, putting two aboard for Taylor Schwartz, who also cleared the bases with a long ball.
UF added a seventh run in the second, when Stewart led off with a single, then stole second. Tofft laid down a bunt, and a throwing error allowed Stewart to score her second run of the game.
The final run came in the fourth inning; Haeger singled, and Jessica Damico came in to pinch run. Damico stole second, and advanced to third when Little flied out to left field. Justine McLean subbed in and grounded out, allowing Damico to cross the plate.
Freshman lefty Delanie Gourley threw a five-inning no-hitter in the Gators’ win, which helped improve the team record to 46-11.
Earlier in the day Stetson defeated UCF 6-4 in extra innings. That means Florida will face Stetson on Saturday at 1:00, with UCF and FAMU battling for their postseason lives in the loser’s bracket.