Special to Gatorsports.com
The fifth-ranked Florida softball team defeated Florida A&M 19-3 in five innings Wednesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Freshman pitcher Natalie Lugo (2-0) received her second start and stood out in her 4.1 innings by only giving up a walk and recording seven strikeouts.
Florida (38-7) opened the game against Florida A&M (19-24) with a trio of runs. Kayli Kvistad highlighted the inning’s scoring with a two-RBI single. Jordan Matthews drove in Nicole DeWitt on a groundout to round out the scoring in the first.
The Gators blew open the game and pushed the lead out to 15-0 after scoring 12 runs on seven hits. A total of 17 batters made their way to the plate in the inning with Amanda Lorenz and DeWitt driving in runs in each of their two plate appearances to lead the way.
A pair of home runs fueled a four-run inning in the third, which extended the Florida lead to 19-0. Jordan Roberts ripped a solo home run to lead off the inning and three-run home run by Jaimie Hoover capped the scoring for the frame.
Florida returns to Southeastern Conference action Friday with a three game series at Mississippi State.
Baseball: No. 1 Florida plays at No. 6 Kentucky for a three-game series starting at 7 p.m. today (SEC Network). Game two is Friday at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network and the series finale is Saturday at 1 p.m. (online stream only). All three games will stream live on SEC Network+ and broadcast via the Gators IMG Sports Network.
Lacrosse: At Cincinnati, Ohio, the No. 6 Gators continued their strong play in Big East action with their 29th consecutive win in conference. Florida defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats 20-4 at Gettler Stadium.
Florida (12-3, 7-0 Big East) fell behind early in the game when the Bearcats (6-8, 0-7) threw a pass nearly the length of the field to get behind the Gator defense for the goal. After falling behind the Gators scored three quick goals as Shannon Kavanagh, Allie Pavinelli and Sydney Pirreca found the back of the net.
The first half was all Gators from that point on with nine straight goals to open up a commanding 9-1 lead. In the half, both Lindsey Ronbeck and Shannon Kavanagh earned hat tricks while eight different Gators scored goals on their way to a 14-2 halftime lead.
With a running clock for the entire second half, Florida didn’t let up on offense. The Gators scored six goals on 16 shots in the final period. With the clock nearing zero Shannon Kavanagh recorded her 12th draw control of the afternoon, setting a new single-game record at Florida. On the year Kavanagh has 62 draw controls, the fifth best singes-season mark in school history.
Florida will next play at Denver University for a 2 p.m. match Saturday.
Women’s golf: At Birmingham, Ala., the Gators finished the first round of the SEC Tournament in fourth after carding a score of 10-over-par. Florida has four players inside of the top 25 on the leaderboard led by sophomore Sierra Brooks who is tied for seventh.
Brooks shot 72 (E) Wednesday and sits three shots back of Alabama’s Kristen Gillman for the individual lead. She was 2-under at the turn and tied for the lead with teammate Marta Perez but, bogies on No. 10 and 11 brought her back to even. Perez as well Addie Baggarly turned in 75 (+3) scores as both are tied for 18th.
One shot back of them is Taylor Tomlinson who finished with a 76 (+4) including a team-best 38 on the back nine. Tomlinson was aided by a string of seven consecutive pars from No. 11 to No. 17.
Butler hired: Clemson turned to former Florida coach Amanda Butler to turn around its troubled women’s basketball program. Athletic spokesman Joe Galbraith said the school’s Board of Trustees approved a four-year contract Thursday. He said financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Butler takes over for Audra Smith, who was let go last month after five, struggling seasons. The Tigers went just 52-99 overall during Smith’s tenure and were just 9-70 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Butler, 46, played and coached at Florida, going 190-137 in 10 years with the Gators. She made NCAA Tournament four times in that span, never getting past the opening game. Butler is charged with reviving a Clemson program that last played in the NCAAs in 2002 under coach Jim Davis.