UF SB: No. 8 Gators Set to Host Bucknell in Midweek Action

No. 8 Gators Set to Host Bucknell in Midweek Action
The Florida softball team continues its homestand with a solo midweek contest against the Bison at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The eighth-ranked Florida softball team is set to continue its homestand Wednesday, March 15, at 6 p.m. against Bucknell at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The game will be streamed via SEC Network+ with Ryan Urquhart and former Gators standout Aleshia Ocasio on the call.

The Gators (19-4) welcome the Bison (7-13) after a 4-1 weekend at the Bubly Invitational with wins over RV/No. 24 Louisiana, Mercer and Rutgers. All four wins came via five-inning run-rule decisions, while the lone loss was a 1-0 decision to the Ragin’ Cajuns. Overall, the Orange & Blue outscored Bubly Invitational opponents 43-7.

There were several standout performances over this past weekend that deserve additional recognition. First, graduate senior Charla Echols hit .562 (9-for-16) over the six-game stretch and drove in a career-high seven RBI in the Gators win over Mercer to kick-off the Bubly Invitational last Friday.

The career mark for Echols also stands tied for the third most RBI produced in a game all-time. The Newnan, Ga. native ranks third nationally with 35 RBI on the season.

In addition to Echols’ standout performances over last week, freshman Olivia Gigante drove in eight RBI with four being against Mercer the opening night of the Bubly Invitational thanks to a 3-for-4 performance at the plate which included a pair of home runs. The San Diego, Calif. native closed out the weekend with her second career grand slam in the Gators win, 11-2 (5 innings), over RV/No. 24 Louisiana.

Gigante is the first freshman in program history to hit two grand slams in a single season since Jaimie Hoover did so during her freshman season in 2017.

In the circle, senior Rylee Trlicek and sophomore Lexie Delbrey notched no-hitters in back-to-back days against Mercer and Rutgers. Trlicek dispatched the Bears Saturday afternoon for the second no-no of her career and first since her freshman season in her first career start, while Delbrey hurled the first ever of her young career.

Delbrey has gained more innings in the circle over the last week and was able to produce a career-long 17 1/3 scoreless inning streak before it was snapped in the 5th inning of the Gators 1-0 loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns.

This season, Florida’s offense has produced 198 runs so far, which is more than any other program in the country, and ranks third nationally with 8.61 runs per game behind Oklahoma’s 9.10 runs per game and Tennessee’s 8.71 runs per game. UF also ranks inside the top 10 nationally in batting average (.369 – 3rd), on base percentage (.483 – 1st), slugging percentage (.625 – 3rd) and walks (111 – 3rd).

Following the conclusion of the Gators game against the Bison, the team will focus on competing in their first Southeastern Conference series of the season with a three-game set against Missouri this Friday through Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

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