No. 3/4 Softball Completes Sweep of Auburn

Florida defeated Auburn 5-2 on Sunday for their 7th consecutive SEC series win. Sophomore righty for the Gators Hannah Rodgers pitched 6 scoreless innings for her 19th complete game of the season, giving up 2 runs, 6 hits and fanning 5. The Gators improved to 38-5 (18-2 SEC) on the season, with Sundays win coming in front of 1,129 fans on a hot Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Scoreless heading into the bottom of the 5th, with two outs, the Gators were able to get on the board. Freshman Sami Fagan hit a two-RBI double, and then Freshman Lauren Haeger drove her home with a two run homer to put the Gators up 4-0.

Haeger "I was just looking for something to drive, Sami (Fagan) was on second I knew I had to find a gap to get her in. And I just found my pitch and put a good swing on it."

Florida put one more on the board with a Kasey Fagan sacrifice fly in the sixth.

The Gators only trailed Auburn in one inning all weekend, on Friday night. The Gators won Friday's game 3-2, behind a complete game by Rodgers where she fanned 6 Tigers and only gave up 2 runs.

"If we're keeping down the runs, then it just keeps the teams hitting more confident," said Rodgers.

Keeping the score low they did. Saturdays 3-1 win over the Tigers came behind Freshman ace Lauren Haeger's complete game two hitter, where she struck out 11 Tigers.

In Sundays game Auburn tried to rally in the seventh, coming up with two runs on three hits. With Tiger runners on second and third with one out after an Elizabeth Eisterhold leadoff walk and a Brooke Lathan double to center, McKenzie Kilpatrick singled a run home for the Tigers bringing the score to 5-1. With runners on the corners, a fielders choice recorded the second out of the inning but allowed Lathan to score, bringing the score to 5-2. Lauren Guzman hit a base hit, but was thrown out at second for the final out of the game, leaving the score at 5-2.

Tiger starter Angel Bunner (11-4) got the loss, after giving up 5 Gator hits and UF's first four runs. Lauren Schmalz came into the circle for the final 1.1 innings. Schmalz recorded Auburn's only strikeouts of the day, fanning 2 Gators.

Tim Walton, Florida's Head Coach, was pleased. "pitching and defense is the name of the game" he said. "It was a good Auburn pitching staff. They really pitched well and the third time through the lineup we were able to figure it out a little bit better."

This was the Gators 5th SEC sweep this season. Coming up next for Florida, the Gators will host FIU for a double header on Friday, and then a game Saturday.

"Its gonna be tough, were gonna face some great pitching probably not gonna get as many hits as were accustomed to getting," Walton said. "We're gonna have to learn how to deal with the failure part of the game but really learn how to situational hit, be able to execute, continue playing great defense, and continue to pitch, but we got a challenge."

The Gators will finish out their season, with a mid week double header Tuesday April 24th at home against LSU. The following weekend they host Kentucky for their final home series, before traveling to Alabama to finish out the season.

"It only gets harder from here," Fagan said. "Kentucky has good pitchers, Alabama has good pitchers so its gonna be a tough rest of the way in the SEC."

After Sundays game, the Gators sit atop of the SEC standings. The SEC Tournament starts on May 10th.

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