The Walk-Off: Rothrock shines in SEC debut, A&M, LSU clinch series

Courtesy of Florida Athletics

Top 25 Matchups

No. 16 Florida 2, No. 9 Alabama 0

Keagan Rothrock and Ava Brown have always had high expectations coming into Florida. The duo delivered in their SEC debut. Rothrock pitched a complete game one-hitter and carried a no-hitter fifth inning at Rhoads Stadium. She didn’t have a high strikeout count but did get help from her defense. Jocelyn Erickson threw out a runner and Kendra Falby tracked down a liner toward the wall to start the fourth.

Florida only had three hits against Tide starter Kayla Beaver. Brown made hers count. An error and a double put runners on second and third with one out. Beaver snagged the second out on a liner and allowed herself to potentially get out of the jam. Brown kept it simple with two outs. She sent it back up the middle for two RBIs, the lone offense in the game.

No. 14 Missouri 5, No. 24 Auburn 0

Cierra Harrison’s breakout season added an SEC shutout on Saturday. The sophomore diced up the Auburn lineup, collecting nine strikeouts including reiting the side in the fourth inning. Harrison improved to 7-0 this season as Missouri clinched the SEC series and a chance at the sweep on Sunday.

Chantice Phillips provided most of the offense. Following an Auburn error, Phillips stroked a three-run home run to extend the lead to four. Alex Honnold singled in a run later in the inning.

No. 13 Baylor 2, No. 7 Oklahoma State 0

Baylor was oh-so-close to getting the series opener on Friday but got the job done on Saturday. RyLee Crandall’s one-hit complete game set up Sunday’s rubber match. She was nearly perfect outside of Caroline Wang’s leadoff single in the fifth inning. Crandall retired everyone else inducing nine flyouts and 10 groundouts.

Ana Watson hit a chopper that bounced off of Tallen Edwards after a leadoff walk in the sixth to put runners on the corners. Watson later stole second to put another runner in scoring position. Abi Flores hit a bouncer to Rosie Davis at second, who came home with the throw, left it high and pinch runner Caroline Rowatt beat it to score the first run in the sixth. Watson scored on a sacrifice fly for an insurance run.

No. 19 Texas A&M 2, No. 20 South Carolina 1

Trinity Cannon was sick of the pitcher’s duel. So she ended it. Cannon crushed the 1-0 pitch from Alana Vawter in the bottom of the 10th to secure the SEC series with for the Aggies in a 2-1.

Runs came at a premier. Both teams’ lineups weren’t too happy to see Vawter and Emiley Kennedy again after Friday’s series opener. Each pitcher tossed five-plus innings in relief. Freshman Sage Mardjetko did well for the Gamebacks throwing four innings, yielding one run and two hits in her start. The hidden star was Brooke Vestal, who tossed four hitless innings with six strikeouts after relieving Emily Leavitt. Vestal worked her way out of a no-out bases-loaded jam when she came into the second and limited the damage after South Carolina scored. She could be a big part of the Aggies’ staff due to Shaylee Ackerman’s injury.

No. 4 LSU 4, No. 25 Kentucky 3

The weather and defense were sloppy in Lexington. The Wildcats ended the day with five errors and had a shot at cutting down the game-winning run. Ali Newland ripped a single through the right side in the top of the seventh, Sierra Daniel tried to score from second after getting there via a throwing error. Taylor Ebbs came up firing from right field but sailed it over catcher Karissa Hamilton. A better throw has a chance at keeping the game tied.

The Tigers felt the absence of Danieca Coffey at third. While Maddox McKee has had a good offensive weekend, she had a tough inning in the sixth. Her throwing error allowed Kentucky to tie the game and she had another throw that Raeleen Gutierrez oddly took her foot off the bag. LSU walked Erin Coffel to load the bases and face Ally Hutchins, who had homered early in the game. Raelin Chaffin won the battle with a groundout.

Upsets and Close Calls

Oregon 5, No. 15 Cal 2

This was the biggest win of the season for the Ducks clinching the series over the Bears. Oregon manufactured runs with its speed. The Ducks offense has struggled at times this year but put the pressure on Cal with bunts throughout the game. The Ducks’ runs came via a squeeze play, sac fly, an error on a steal attempt, a wild pitch and a two-out single. Elise Sokolsky and Morgan Scott pitched well in the rubber match as well.

No. 6 Georgia 6, Miami 4

The two teams made a lot of noise in the first between Holly Blaska’s two-run double and Sydney Kuma’s three-run homer. The bats went quiet for a few innings. Miami broke the silence in the fifth, scoring a pair of runs off of Shelby Walters and Lilli Backes to take the lead. The Bulldog offense rallied behind their pitchers. The first three batters reached in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Then Emily Digby and Lyndi Rae Davis pushed the game to its final score of 6-4 with their RBIs.

No. 22 UCLA 6, Utah 5

The Utes needed just one out to even the series, but Jadelyn Allchin had other plans. The graduate transfer came through in the bottom of the seventh, tying the ballgame with an RBI single to left. The Bruin magic continued as Maya Brady and Jordan Woolery drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases for Megan Grant. Grant delivered with a single through the left side, clinching the series for UCLA. It was a fitting celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1984 National Champions, as UCLA sealed the win in walk-off fashion.

Softball Series Around America

No. 17 Arizona 6, Oregon State 0

The Wildcats salvaged the series win after a rough start to the weekend. The offense wasted no time Saturday, scoring four runs in the second inning. Allie Skaggs hit two home runs and has four blasts in her last four games as she starts to heat back up. Aissa Silva picked up a career-high nine strikeouts in a complete game shutout.

Florida Atlantic 8, Wichita State 7

The Owls sneaked out a game one win on the road with help from Kamryn Jackson. Jackson notched two hits on the day including a two-run blast to take the lead in the fourth. The ball seemed to be flying out of the yard at Wilkins Stadium. The Shockers recorded four home runs in the loss.Β 

Wichita State 6, Florida Atlantic 4

The Shockers’ offense continued right where it left off, blasting three solo home runs in the nightcap. The bottom of the lineup delivered going 4-for-7 with five RBI thanks to Krystin Nelson’s red hot day at the plate to even the series.

Players of the Day

Cydney Sanders, Oklahoma

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Sanders since she arrived in Norman. The junior had herself a day on Saturday. She blasted three home runs in Oklahoma’s doubleheader sweep of Iowa State, driving in a total of seven runs.

Aspen Wesley, Mississippi State

Wesley gave her best to get the series win over rivalry and SEC foe Ole Miss. No really. Wesley tossed her first career no-hitter on 103 pitches with nine strikeouts.

Gabi Apiag, Austin Peay

The shortstop went 5-for-7 in Austin Peay’s doubleheader sweep of Akron and Rhode Island. She collected four RBIs with a pair of triples.

Plays of the Day

 

Milestone Moments

Virginia Tech won its 1,000th game in program history in the first win of its doubleheader

Wichita State’s Kristi Bredbenner earned her 700th career win after the Shockers split a doubleheader with FAU

UAB’s A.J. Daugherty notched his 300th career win

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