It wasn't the normal script, but Florida Softball takes series over Mississippi State

Florida took two out of three games on the road
Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun / USA

The script for Florida Softball this season has been straight forward. Keagan Rothrock and Ava Brown keep opponents off the scoreboard and as of late that bats for the Gators ensure plenty of run support. Last weekend, Florida obliterated Kentucky and while most expected a stiffer test against Mississippi State, most fans still had to feel confident about the odds for the Gators.

In the end the Gators took two out of three from the Bulldogs in a manner we hadn't seen from Florida in 2024.

Florida Softball: Shootout

In someone were to tell you that Florida scored 12 runs in game one against Mississippi State, most would assume the game ended early due to mercy rule. At the very least, most would assume a comfortable victory for the Gators given how pitching has gone this season.

But for the first time this season, Rothrock looked mortal. In her six previous outings, she had given up seven runs combined, yet against Mississippi State, she was bounced after five innings, having given up eight runs.

Even with her struggles, it felt like the Gators had put the game away following a five-run sixth inning to put the Gators up 12-6, but after Rothrock got pulled after giving up two runs in the inning, Brown and Olivia Miller couldn't shut the door either, and Mississippi State completed the comeback and took game one 13-12.

Game two was a bit more Gator like as Jocelyn Erickson netted five RBIs on a two home run day and despite some seven inning drama the Gators prevailed 8-5 to even the series at one each.

But as the outs ticked away on Saturday, it seemed like the Bulldogs just had Florida's number for whatever reason as Rothrock again struggled and Mississippi State took a 6-2 lead after the fourth innings.

Florida was able to chip away in the fifth but found themselves still down by two with three outs left.

Skylar Wallace pulled it within one after a triple, Erickson stepped up with one out and the series hanging in the balance.

The transfer from Oklahoma did not disappoint.

Three outs later in the bottom of the seventh and Florida gritted out a series win on the road where the bats had to lead the way.

We had noted early in the season that Florida was struggling to hit Power Five pitching. That narrative for now can be laid to rest and it provides a power pathway forward for the Gators as they proved they are capable of winning a slugfest if they have to.