Florida HR Defeats Tide In Softball

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida left-fielder Kelsey Bruder hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to down Alabama, 6-5, Saturday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

After the loss, Alabama to 42-6 on the season and 16-5 in Southeastern Conference play. The Gators improve to 39-8 overall and 14-7 in league action.

With one out in the seventh, Bruder lined a three-run homer over the wall in right to even the series. Kasey Fagan led off the inning with a walk and then Michelle Moultrie singled through the right-side to put the winning run at the plate.

Senior Kelsi Dunne (21-3) was tagged with the loss in the relief effort. Dunne tossed 1 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on two hits. The senior struck out three and walked two.

Freshman Jackie Traina allowed three runs on six hits in five innings of work in her 20th start of the season. The newcomer struck out six and walked two, tossing 100 pitches in the contest.

The Tide was out-hit, 8-5. Sophomore Kayla Braud hit a two-run homer and senior Whitney Larsen added a solo shot. Junior Kendall Dawson and Traina added RBI singles.

Alabama made some noise in the second inning by scoring a pair of runs. Traina helped her own cause with her 44th RBI of the season with a single up the middle that scored freshman Kaila Hunt. Dawson then dropped in a RBI single to left that plated junior Jazlyn Lunceford. Hunt started off the inning with a walk and then Lunceford moved her to third on a double to right-center.

Florida took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on the strength of back-to-back home runs. Megan Bush equaled the Florida single season home run record when she hit a two-run homer over the wall in center. Tiffany DeFelice then followed suit with a solo shot to left-center to move the score to 3-2 in favor of the Gators.

With two outs in the fifth, Larsen evened the score at three on the first pitch she saw in the at-bat. The senior belted her 11th home run of the season on a shot well over the wall in left. It was her 45th career home run.

Braud took advantage of a Gator error to give Alabama the late lead. After pinch-hitter Lauren Sewell opened the inning by reaching on an error, Braud hit a moon-shot over the wall in dead-center to give the Tide a 5-3 lead. The home run was the fourth on the season for sophomore and second career late-inning homer against the Gators.

The two teams will conclude the series in the rubber-match on Sunday, April 24. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Pressly Stadium. Beth Mowins, Michele Smith and Jessica Mendoza will call the action on ESPN.

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