No. 1 UF softball cruises to two more wins

Florida players celebrate at home as they wait for Kristi Merritt after she hit a home run against the Indiana Hoosiers during the Lipton Invitational on Saturday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8:41 p.m.

No. 1 Florida (16-0) swept a doubleheader for the second consecutive day at the University of Florida Lipton Invitational, winning 12-2 against Troy and 8-0 (5 innings) against Indiana at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.

Junior Lauren Haeger was one out away from a perfect game for against the Trojans in the opener, while senior Hannah Rogers tossed a five-inning no-hitter against the Hoosiers.

Florida began the scoring against Troy with two runs in the third inning. Kelsey Stewart singled and stole second before a single from Kirsti Merritt set up Haeger's bases-clearing double.

UF added five more runs in the following frame. Singles by Justine McLean and Stewart followed Chelsea Herndon's leadoff double. Herndon scored on Stewart's base hit before Haeger produced a two-run single to bring home McLean and Stewart. Senior Stephanie Tofft knocked in two more runs with a base hit to right that plated Francesca Martinez, who pinch-ran for Haeger, and Taylor Schwarz, who got on base with a single.

The Gators put up five more runs in the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Briana Little drove in McLean, who had set the table with a single as the second batter of the inning. After Haeger reached on an error, a single from Taylore Fuller plated Stewart and loaded the bases for Tofft, who drew a walk. A 2-run double by catcher Aubree Munro brought home Fuller and Haeger to put UF up 12-0.

Haeger retired the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh to pull within one out of perfection, but allowed a bloop single and a home run before finishing the complete-game victory.

In the second game, Tofft walked in the second inning to set up a two-run home run by Little. McLean led off the third with a walk before Stewart singled. McLean came home on an RBI single by Haeger, and Stewart scored on a sacrifice fly by Fuller.

The Gators added four more runs in their final at-bat of the day with an RBI single from Stewart and a three-run pinch-hit homer by Merritt, who put Florida up by eight runs to produce the final margin in support of Rogers, who earned her team-leading sixth win of the season.

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