UF softball ties series with No. 9 Vols

Published: Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After falling short against No. 9 Tennessee in the series opener Friday, the No. 3/4 softball squad rebounded Saturday with a 5-2 victory over the Lady Vols in Knoxville with an 11-hit performance in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,713 at Lee Stadium Saturday.

Florida's 22nd victory of the 2012 season evened the series at one-apiece, as the two squads will take to the field for the series finale today at noon.

The Gators (22-2, 3-1 SEC) returned Saturday with sophomore Hannah Rogers in the circle, while the Lady Vols (15-4, 1-1 SEC) opted to go with junior hurler Ivy Renfroe. Rogers worked the first 5.0, giving up seven hits, but allowing just two Tennessee runs, while retiring one Lady Vol by strikeout. Rogers picked up the victory to improve to 12-1 on the season, while freshman righty Lauren Haeger earned her first save of the season after 2.0 innings of hitless, scoreless relief with two strikeouts.

Not only did Haeger work for the Gators in the circle, but the 2011 USA Softball Women's Junior National Team member went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Orange and Blue on offense. Haeger tallied a two-out RBI single through the right side for UF's final run of the contest in the fourth inning.

Florida leaders sophomore shortstop Cheyenne Coyle and senior centerfielder Michelle Moultrie also rallied for multi-hit performances, Coyle with a 2-for-3 effort and Moultrie with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Junior Ensley Gammel, sophomore Kasey Fagan and freshmen Katie Medina and Sami Fagan got in on the action as well with one hit apiece.

Renfroe moved to 4-4 on the season with the loss as the UT hurler went the distance, giving up UF's 11 hits and five runs, while walking four and retiring two by strikeout. Madison Shipman and Kat Dotson each had two hits to lead Tennessee offensively.

The Gators out-hit the Lady Vols, 11-7, and scattered runs in the first, second and fourth innings, with one run each in the first and fourth and three in a key second frame for the Gators.

With two down in the first, Coyle sent a bomb to left field, her sixth long ball of the season to give Florida a 1-0 jump early. Haeger sent a two-out hard-hit single up the middle to keep the bats going, but a groundout ended the scoring for the Orange and Blue.

Tennessee struck back with two runs in the first for a 2-1 lead, but Florida came out swinging in the second, stringing together a three-run, five-hit inning.

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