Kentucky evens series with UF softball


Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Freshman second baseman Kelsey Stewart went 2-for-3 and teammate Kirsti Merritt hit a two-run homer in the first for an early 2-0 Florida lead, but the No. 3 Gators fell short against No. 18 Kentucky, as the Wildcats rallied for a 4-2 win to square the series on Saturday.

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Who: Florida (40-5, 13-4 SEC) at Kentucky (31-11, 9-5)
When: Sunday, noon
Where: John Cropp Stadium, Lexington, Ky.
Gainesville-area radio: 104.9 FM

The Gators moved to 40-5 on the season, 13-4 in SEC play and 7-3 against top-25 competition, while the Wildcats improved to 31-11 overall, 9-5 in league play in front of 1,206 fans at John Cropp Stadium, as the newly constructed facility was dedicated prior to Saturday's contest.

Florida and Kentucky will meet Sunday in the series finale, with the first pitch slated for noon (broadcast on 104.9 FM). The Gators are seeking their sixth SEC series win.

Florida wasted no time getting on the board Saturday, starting with Merritt's two-run homer to right-center that plated herself and Stewart. For Merritt, the homer marked her third of the season.

Kentucky scored one run in the first, one in the fourth and followed with a two-run sixth to hold off Florida, as sophomore righty Lauren Haeger worked in the circle for the Gators. Haeger (11-2) gave up four earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks over six innings of work in the loss. Kelsey Nunley picked up the win for the Wildcats, improving to 20-4 on the year. Nunley worked a complete game, surrendering two earned runs on three hits and striking out eight Florida batters while walking four.

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