Tofft slugs Gators to another sweep

Published: Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — The Florida softball team earned two more wins at the Easton Desert Classic on Saturday, defeating Ohio State 19-2 (5 innings) and beating Cal State Northridge 6-0.

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Florida third baseman Stephanie Tofft drove in eight runs Saturday, leading to wins over Ohio State and Cal State Northridge.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/FILE

Florida capitalized on its opportunities from the start against the Buckeyes as three first-inning hits combined with a walk to give the Gators an early 2-0 lead. UF erupted in the second for 15 runs on nine hits, and benefited from two Buckeye errors in the frame.

The offensive onslaught began with three straight singles from Katie Medina, Justine McLean and Kelsey Stewart. Kirsti Merritt reached on an error by the OSU shortstop. After the Gators got three free bases on two walks and a hit-by-pitch, Aubree Munro hit an RBI single. A bases-loaded walk and a McLean single continued the rally, and the Gators cashed in on a Buckeye wild pitch to bring up the top of the order.

Continuing the scoring burst, Stewart walked to set up an RBI single by Merritt before Lauren Haeger delivered a double with the bases loaded to bring in two more runs. After Taylore Fuller walked to re-load the bases, Stephanie Tofft belted a grand slam to finish the scoring in the 15-run inning. Tofft finished with six RBIs and two runs scored against the Buckeyes.

The teams traded zeros in the third before Ohio State got to Gourley for two runs in the fourth on an RBI double to right and an RBI single up the middle. The Gators matched the Buckeyes in the bottom of the frame when Chelsea Herndon drove in two runs on a single through the hole at second to produce the final margin. Alyssa Bache allowed two walks in the fifth but halted the OSU threat to give the Gators the mercy-rule win. Delanie Gourley (3-0) extended her winning streak to three games to begin her UF career.

Against Cal State Northridge, the Gators were held scoreless for two innings before Stewart tripled in the third to score McLean, who had reached on an error. Merritt brought Stewart home on a sacrifice fly to put Florida ahead 2-0.

Haeger and Taylor Schwarz added solo home runs in the fifth and sixth innings, and Tofft drove in two runs with a double in the 7th. The six-run cushion was more than enough for senior Hannah Rogers (4-0), who pitched a four-hit shutout with one walk and three strikeouts to earn her 101st career victory and run Florida’s season-opening win streak to 10 games.

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