UF roundup: Lacrosse team routs Kennesaw State

Special to Gatorsports.com

KENNESAW, Ga. — The sixth-ranked Florida lacrosse team dominated Kennesaw State on Wednesday, defeating the Owls 20-7.

Florida improves to 2-1 on the year, while Kennesaw State drops to 0-2.

"This was a great team win overall today," UF coach Amanda O'Leary said. "We knew it would be important to control the draw from the start and we did just that. Our offense and defense were both really solid today, so overall very happy with this performance."

The Gators had nine different players find the back of the net, led by a career-high four goals from Paisley Eagan.

Maggi Hall, Danielle Pavinelli and Shannon Kavanagh each registered a hat trick in the game and the three-goal performance was a career-high for both Hall and Pavinelli.

Brianna Harris (2), Grace Haus (2), Kassidy Bresnahan, Shelton Sawers and Jackie Norsworthy rounded out the scoring column for Florida. Norsworthy's goal was the first of her collegiate career.

Eight different Gators dished out at least one assist, with Hall, Harris, Hannah Mardiney and Lexie Morton leading the way with two apiece. Ashley Gonzalez, Emily Heller, Haus and Pavinelli each tallied one assist.

The Gators dominated the draw circle, winning 20-of-29 draws on the day. Kavanagh posted a team-high eight draw controls, while Harris added three. Emma Wightman, Liz Harrison and Heller each came up with two draws apiece as well.

Florida forced eight caused turnovers, led by two from Cara Trombetta. Heller, Haus, Hall, Becky Browndorf, Kaitlyn Dabkowski and Sarah Reznick each tallied one CT.

Trombetta held KSU offensive threat Marissa Gore to just 1-of-2 shooting on the day and also notched a team-high four groundballs.

Browndorf registered three groundballs of her own, while Dabkowski, Pavinelli and Hall each recorded two on the afternoon.

In the cage, redshirt freshman Sarah Reznick notched three saves, while freshman goalie Julia Hammerschlag saw a career-high number of minutes in goal, finishing with 9:22.

The Gators are back in action Saturday in DeLand to take on Stetson. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. at the Athletic Training Center.

Women's basketball

Florida defeated Auburn 69-62 in the first round of the SEC tournament in Greenville, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

The 12-seeded Gators (11-12), who ended a four-game losing streak, will play Kentucky (16-7) at 1 p.m. Thursday in the second round, which will be carried on the SEC Network. 

Kiara Smith had a game-high 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for UF, while Danielle Rainey added 13 points. Smith reached 1,002 points for her career.

Fifth seed and No. 17 Kentucky beat Florida 88-80 earlier this season in Gainesville. Auburn ends its season at 5-19 after it 17th consecutive loss.

Softball

 No. 5 Florida defeated New Mexico State, 6-2, Wednesday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The Gators (13-0) picked up timely hits in the first and sixth innings to down the Aggies (3-10).

In the first inning, Hannah Adams (3-for-4) continued her hot-streak at the plate as she led the game off with a single up the middle. Kendyl Lindaman followed up with a walk to put runners on first and second, which set the table for Julia Cottrill’s one-out RBI double down the right field line to score Adams.

Shortly afterward, Jaimie Hoover (1-for-3) cranked her first home run of the season to break the game open and give the Gators a 4-0 lead. Hoover plated Lindaman and Cottrill when she roped the 1-0 offering from Aggies starting pitcher, Felcia De La Torre (1-3) over the right center field wall with two outs.

New Mexico State responded in the following frame and closed down the lead 4-1 with a pair of back-to-back hits off of Florida starting pitcher Rylee Trlicek.

The Gators pitch by committee approach to tonight’s game saw right-hander Elizabeth Hightower (6-0) come in third inning. Hightower retired 12 of the next 14 batters without giving up a hit. The Aggies were however able to reach via an error in the fifth and a walk in the sixth innings, but there was no threat of scoring in those instances.

The Gators offense churned out two more runs in the home half of the 6th inning as the team extended their lead out to 6-1 thanks to a SAC fly from Cheyenne Lindsey that scored Katie Kistler and a monster solo home run from Adams over the trees beyond the right field wall.

The Aggies were finally able to get a hit off of Hightower as the last batter she faced in the top of the 7th inning was able to lift a ball over the left field wall and close down the UF lead to 6-2.

Regardless of the outcome of that at-bat, the Gators were already poised to bring in Natalie Lugo to close out the game. Lugo went on to retire the final three batters in order to seal the Gators victory.

Next up for Florida is a meeting with No. 16 Florida State. The two teams will compete Friday at 3:30 p.m. on the SEC Network at KSP Stadium, then will play Saturday at Joanne Graf Field at 6 p.m. in Tallahassee on the ACC Network Extra.

Women's golf

Florida concluded play at the Gamecock Intercollegiate (Columbia, S.C.) by finishing 17th in the field. Duke won the event. Freshman Maisie Filler led the way for the Gators, finishing tied for 20th individually.