UF softball sweeps Illinois State, Wisconsin
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 11:47 p.m.
TAMPA — Florida swept a pair of softball games Friday at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament, defeating Illinois State 3-2 and beating Wisconsin 5-3. The win over the Redbirds marked the 800th win in program history.
Sophomore Taylor Schwarz gave Florida an early lead over the Redbirds when she hit the Gators' first home run of 2014 next to the batting cages beyond left field.
Illinois State responded in the fourth with a leadoff double, then plated its first run on a well-placed bunt single that allowed the runner to score from second.
Five straight Florida batters reached base in the bottom of the frame, and the Gators added their second run when Aubree Munro singled to score Schwarz, who had reached base on a fielder's choice.
Florida plated what proved to be the winning run the next inning as sophomore Kirsti Merritt doubled home leadoff hitter Kelsey Stewart.
In the Gators' second game, Wisconsin got on the board first with a solo home run by shortstop Stephanie Peace. Florida's Hannah Rogers and the Badgers' Taylor-Paige Stewart traded scoreless frames for four innings.
Munro came up with another clutch hit in the sixth, singling home Schwarz again to tie the game at 1. UF's rally continued the next inning when Briana Little drew a leadoff walk. Two batters later, Merritt came up with another clutch hit, bringing Little home with a triple. After Stephanie Tofft walked, Haeger's sac fly scored Merritt and Schwarz provided the Gators' second triple of the frame. Taylore Fuller reached on an error by the Wisconsin third baseman that allowed Schwarz to score, but Fuller was called for interference on the next play.
The Gators' late two-inning rally provided a cushion for Rogers, who allowed two runs in the seventh but held on to earn her second complete-game victory in as many days, following Thursday's win over USF.
Under ninth-year head coach Tim Walton, the Gators are 440-102.
lorida is back on the diamond Saturday against No. 4 Michigan at 11:30 a.m.