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UF Softball: No. 5 Gators Fall in Series Finale at No. 3 Alabama

The Gators rank second in the SEC standings and have won all five SEC series played this season.
Photo by Alex Rodriguez

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY HERB BROOKS

No. 5 Florida fell, 4-2, in the series finale against No. 3 Alabama Sunday afternoon at Rhoads Stadium. However, it was after the Gators picked up wins Friday, 2-0, and Saturday, 9-2, to secure its fifth SEC series victory of the season.

The Gators (32-6, 12-3 SEC) battled with the Crimson Tide (33-7, 12-6 SEC) as each team tallied four hits in the contest, but UA was able to capitalize with three unearned runs in the 3rd and 4th innings to avoid the sweep.

Florida fell behind in the bottom of the 1st inning of play after KB Sides and Bailey Hemphill led off game with hard hit balls back to Elizabeth Hightower (15-3) in the circle. The hits put runners on the corners with no outs and Kaylee Tow drove in Sides in the next at-bat on a groundout to Hannah Adams at second base to give Alabama a 1-0 lead.

The Gators struck back in the top of the 3rd inning to take the lead 2-1 on Julia Cottrill’s two-out, two-RBI single through the right side of the Crimson Tide’s infield. Baylee Goddard led off the frame with a full-count walk and was moved into scoring position two batters later via Charla Echols’ single to right field.

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Montana Fouts (14-3) then issued her second walk of the inning via a full-count base on balls to Kendyl Lindaman to set the table for Cottrill’s big hit that scored Goddard and Echols.

Alabama bounced back in the home half of the frame to retake the lead 3-2 on a defensive miscue by the Gators. Sides, after reaching on a fielder’s choice, scored to tie the game on Tow’s fielder’s choice back to the circle, which included a throwing error from the circle to second base. Maddie Morgan gave her team the lead via an RBI groundout to second that scored pinch-runner Kayla Davis.

The Crimson Tide tacked on a third unearned run in the bottom of the 4th inning to extend its lead out to 4-2. Alexis Mack singled through the right side and advanced to second on a fielding error in right field and a SAC bunt by Taylor Clark moved her to third. She later scored on the Gators’ second defensive miscue of the frame.

Next up for the Gators is a trip to Florida Gulf Coast University this Wednesday, April 21, at 5 p.m. (ET).