UF roundup: Gators’ softball team owns Jacksonville

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Special to The Sun

JACKSONVILLE — No. 3 Florida defeated Jacksonville, 5-0, on a rainy Wednesday evening at the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex.

Sophomore pitcher Natalie Lugo (4-0) hurled her first complete-game shutout of the season and stuck out a career-high 13 batters in the effort.

Amanda Lorenzl gave Lugo all the run support she needed with a solo home run in the first inning. Jordan Matthews extended the lead for UF with a two-RBI single in the second inning.

The Gators (12-0) battled through a pair of rain delays against the Dolphins (4-5). The first started just moments after the UF took a 1-0 lead at 5:04 p.m. and lasted for around nine minutes with a light rain that only required small tarps over the pitching circle and batter’s box.

However, the second rain delay that started in the top of the fifth inning at 6:23 p.m. required a full tarp over the Dolphins infield. The rain poured down for almost an hour before it was lifted to dump the water out into right field.

Florida coaches, staff and players raced out to help Jacksonville get the field playable with rakes and squeegees. After extensive work, play finally resumed at 7:17 p.m. with Gators holding a 5-0 lead.

Lugo closed out the final three frames of play with six strikeouts.

Florida improved to 22-0 all-time against Jacksonville. The Gators return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to host the Bubly Invitational on Friday-Sunday.

SEC swimming & diving: At Athens, Ga., the Florida women finished day two of the SEC Championships in third place, with Texas A&M in the lead and Tennessee in second.

In the 200 IM A Final, Vanessa Pearl recorded the fastest time in Florida history with her career-best swim of 1:53.98 but finished fourth. Pearl’s time broke Elizabeth Beisel’s record time of 1:54.26 set in 2014.

For the UF men, Kieran Smith picked up the first individual SEC championship, as the Gators finished day two in second place behind Missouri.

Smith just out touched Missouri’s Nick Alexander by two one-hundredths of a second with a swim of 1:43.13 to win the 200 IM A Final.

In the 50 Free B Final, Will Davis recorded a career-best time of 19.36 and tied with Zane Waddell of Alabama for first place.

Women’s golf: UF sophomore Addie Baggarly has earned her first SEC accolade of the season, women’s golfer of the week.

Baggarly is fresh off her first collegiate title, taking home the co-individual title from the AllState Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate. She was two-under par after the first two rounds and sealed the title with a birdie on her final hole of the tournament. She shares the title with Leonie Harm of Houston. Baggarly and Harm were the only players in the field to finish on or below par.

She also carded 12 birdies over three rounds, pacing No. 8 Florida to a fourth-place finish behind No. 3 Texas, No. 5 Duke, and No. 1 USC in a field of 18. The individual title was passed from one Gator to the next, as junior Sierra Brooks won the title at the tournament last year.

Men’s golf: UF freshman Aden Ye has earned his first SEC accolade of the season, men’s freshman of the week.

Ye is fresh off his best collegiate finish and the only tournament held on UF’s home course, T10 at the Florida Gators Invitational. He carded his best round of the year with a 68 on the final 18 holes to secure his spot in the top 10. He also notched 10 birdies over all three rounds.

Although Ye competed as an individual, the Gators took second in their annual home event by one stroke to back-to-back tournament champion and SEC opponent Vanderbilt.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Gator Softball is definitely a power house program. They are consistently in the top 5 in the country over the past 7 years. Tim Walton is a great coach and brings in great players who are also great people. I think all in all the softball team may be the Gators best program right now.

  2. I agree that we do have a great coach and we have had a great program for quite awhile. This weekend should be another test, but the big one is next weekend. UCLA, Washington, Oregon, etc. We will do fine. Looking forward to that tournament.🐊🐊🐊⚾⚾⚾

    • Ricky, spot on about this great Gator program. This upcoming weekend tournament with the power house teams you mentioned should be a precursor to the Womens College World Series at year end. With the Gators having been bounced out of the WCWS last season by UCLA, that should be a real grudge match.