GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Freshman pitcher Grace Baalman did everything that was asked and more on Saturday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, but the No. 2 Florida Gators railed for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a 3-2 win over the No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats and claim the series.
Baalman, in her first-career SEC start, went the distance, allowing just three runs to one of the most potent offenses in the nation, and struck out six batters in the game. UF got RBI singles with one out in the seventh from All-SEC performers Amanda Lorenz and Kayli Kvistad, to close out the 3-2 win.
With the win, the No. 2 Gators move to 21-1 on the season, and remain 2-0 in SEC play. Kentucky falls to 15-5 on the season, and 0-2 in the young conference season.
Game three of the series will be on Sunday at Noon ET. The game will air live on the SEC Network with Melissa Lee (pxp) and Cheri Kempf (color) on the call from Gainesville.
- Freshman pitcher Grace Baalman threw a new career high 153 pitches on Saturday night, just coming two outs away from her first-career SEC win.
- Kentucky became the first team to score a run in the first inning on Florida this season, and also was the first team that forced the Gators to have the final at bat of the game.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Kayli Kvistad’s RBI single up the middle to walk off the game for the Gators was the key play.
Alex Martens was the key player in the game for Kentucky, as she hit a home run to straight-away center in the top of the third to give UK the 2-1 lead. UK would hold that 2-1 lead all the way until the bottom of the seventh.
UK became the first team to score a run against Florida in the first inning all season, as Jenny Schaper hit an RBI single up the middle with two outs, to score Katie Reed from second. UK 1, UF 0
Florida tied the game in the bottom of the second when Hannah Adams hit an RBI single to score Aleshia Ocasio from second, who had a one-out double. UK 1, UF 0
Alex Martens hit a home run, her third of the season, to straightaway center to lead off the top of the third inning. UK 2, UF 1
In the bottom of the seventh, UF got the lead-off batter on, and then over on an infield grounder to the pitcher. With one out, Amanda Lorenz tied the game on an RBI single up the middle and then the Gators walked off with the win on a two-strike RBI single up the middle from Kayli Kvistad. FINAL – #2 Florida 3, #22 Kentucky 2