South Carolina Drops Friday Night Contest at No. 4 Florida, 9-1 (5)
March 16, 2012
by Koby Padgett
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A six-run second propelled No. 4 Florida (24-2, 5-1 SEC) to a 9-1 victory in five innings over South Carolina (19-10, 2-4 SEC) on Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators broke through in the second with no one out when Bailey Castro drove a pitch over the left-field wall, scoring Cheyenne Coyle after a leadoff single and Kelsey Horton after the first of three walks. Castro's at-bat was extended after a foul ball got out of the glove of the Gamecock catcher who gave chase on the low pop. Florida loaded the bases again, setting up Lauren Haeger's two-out, three-RBI double to make it 6-0.
Florida added another run in the third when Sami Fagan grounded one to the right side with the bases juiced, and the Gamecock defender slipped on the wet dirt when trying to plant to throw out the lead runner but recovered in time to get the out at first.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the fourth when redshirt senior designated player Kaela Jackson delivered a double over the Gator centerfielder's head, scoring sophomore second baseman Dana Hathorn from first as she slid under and past the tag at the plate. Hathorn reached on a one-out single.
The Gators ended things in the fifth with no outs on consecutive RBI singles from Kasey Fagan and Michelle Moultrie.
Florida's Hannah Rogers (13-1) got the complete-game win, giving up one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out two. Gamecock freshman Katelynn Howser (8-2) took the loss, allowing six runs, two earned, on five hits and four walks in 1.2 innings.
Game two of the series begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday on the Florida campus, with Sun Sports televising the action.