No. 3 Gators rally but fall short in loss to No. 15 Missouri
Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9:26 p.m.
It was a case of too little, too late for the Florida softball team Friday.
Held scoreless through the first six innings on just one hit by Missouri freshman starter Tori Finucane, the third-ranked Gators got a leadoff, solo home run by Stephanie Tofft and later added a two-run shot by former Chiefland star Taylore Fuller in their final at-bat before Finucane got the final out of the game, as the No. 15 Tigers took the opener of a three-game SEC series, 5-3.
Missouri, winner of eight straight SEC contests, improved to 37-12, 13-6 SEC while UF, which had a 10-game winning streak brought to a halt, slipped to 41-9, 11-8 as a Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,351 looked on.
“You've got to give credit to the pitcher occasionally,” Fuller said. “She was hitting her spots and had really good pitches that kept us on our toes. I mean, we make adjustments, but they just happened to be too late in this game.”
Missouri scored twice in the top of third inning off UF starter Hannah Rogers, combining two hits with two UF errors to take a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers added three runs with two outs in the fifth to go up 5-0, with the big blows a two-run double by cleanup hitter Angela Randazzo and an RBI single by Corrin Genovese.
“She (Finucane) threw the ball well, and I thought they played well,” UF coach Tim Walton said. “Obviously you'd like to see better swings early in the game, but it looked like she was throwing harder than pitchers we've seen recently and at twilight, it's a tough spot to be in, especially with some velocity.”
Tofft, who had UF's only hit prior to the seventh with a two-out single in the fourth, had two of Florida's four hits, while leadoff batter Taylor Gadbois went 3 for 4 to pace a 10-hit Missouri attack.
Former Dunnellon standout Sami Fagan, who transferred to Missouri following her freshman year at UF in 2012, and teammate Emily Crane each went 2 for 4, while Randazzo knocked in three runs.
Both starters went the distance, with Rogers (21-7) taking the loss while Finucane (18-5) picked up the win.
Game two of the series is set for 1 p.m. today. It will be Senior Day, with Rogers and Tofft, UF's only seniors, to be honored before the game.