GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No.5-seed Gators played hard from the first out to the last Friday night but fell, 4-1, to No.1-seed Arkansas at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The team will find out their placement in the NCAA Tournament this Sunday at 7 p.m. during the 2022 NCAA Softball Selection Special on ESPN2.
The Gators (43-16) and the Razorbacks (43-9) had to wait roughly three additional hours from the originally scheduled start time for their fourth meeting of the 2022 season due to a lengthy lightning delay that prolonged the Missouri and Tennessee game.
Once the teams were able to take the field the energy at KSP Stadium amped-up just as it did the previous two nights that Florida took the field in the tournament and the Orange & Blue offense came out once again to put pressure on the opponent.
Freshman Kendra Falby once again led the charge in the first inning of play as she ripped her seventh double of the year to leadoff the game. Senior Hannah Adams followed up with infield single to move the speedster Falby to third and Charla Echols drove her in later in the inning to give UF a 1-0 lead via a sacrifice fly to center field.
Fellow freshman Lexie Delbrey (13-3) received start in the circle for the Gators and pitched three-complete innings and allowed only two hits and one earned run, to go along with four walks and four strikeouts.
The Bainbridge, Ga. native worked around the Razorbacks offense to notch scoreless frames in the first, second and third innings with the help of some stellar defensive play from her teammates.
Redshirt-junior Skylar Wallace reeled in a shot from Kacie Hoffmann deep into the 5-6 hole from her shortstop position in the second inning and freshman Sam Roe retired KB Sides in the following frame with a showstopping diving grab behind the backstop.
The Razorbacks however would eventually take the lead in the contest via a four-run frame in the bottom of the fourth inning. After an infield single, a walk and a looping single to start the inning, junior Rylee Trlicek entered in relief of Delbrey.
After a fielder’s choice groundout back to the circle retired the lead runner at home for the first out, the Razorbacks went on to capitalize on miscue by the Gators defense to take the lead 2-1 and eventually 4-1.
Trlicek went on to retire the seven of the last eight batters she faced to close out the game.
Next up for the Gators is the NCAA Softball Tournament that is set to start May 19.
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