– The University of Arkansas softball team fell to the No. 3 Florida Gators, 1-0, on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Arkansas (21-13) was led by Chelsea Cohen
in the circle as she went 6.2 innings and gave up the game’s only run. She gave up five hits and struck out four before Kelsey Horton hit a solo-homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Florida the win.
“This was a classic softball game,” head coach Mike Larabee
said. “It was a tough one to lose, but I love the way our team came out and competed. Chelsea Cohen
threw an outstanding ballgame against one of the top three teams in the nation.”
After over an hour of lightning delays, the game started with both teams going scoreless through two innings. The Razorbacks started the hitting in the top of the third when Jayme Gee
led off the inning with a double to rightfield. However, the Razorbacks were unable to plate the junior.
Florida began its half of the third with a standup triple from Kelsey Stewart. This was her SEC-leading sixth triple of the 2013 season. After a Kristi Merritt walk, Lauren Haeger approached the plate with two runners on and nobody. She chased a 2-1 pitch and popped out to Clarisa Navarro
at shortstop. Navarro made a beautiful diving catch on the play, keeping the runners at their respective bases. On the next pitch Briana Little also flew out to Navarro for out number two. After another walk issued to the Gators, Cohen got Stephanie Tofft to tap out to the pitcher. This retired the side and got the Razorbacks out of a tough jam.
A scoreless fourth inning ensued and a pitchers dual started to develop in Gainesville. The Razorbacks battled and notched a runner in the fifth when Sierra Bronkey
led off the inning with a standup double. Alyssa Bass
pinch ran for Bronkey and then was bunted over to third by pinch-hitting Ashley Martindale
. Three batters later Amanda Geile
skied out to the warning track in rightfield. She missed a double by inches, but the Hogs stranded Bass at third.
Cohen retired three of four batters she faced in the bottom of the fifth and struck out Tofft to end the inning. She received some defensive help in the bottom of the sixth when Merritt skied a ball into leftfield with two on and two out. Rambo made a nice play to catch the towering fly ball with her back on the wall. The defensive stop sent the game into the seventh inning, scoreless.Nicole Schroeder
led off the seventh inning and gave the third pitch of her at-bat a ride, but it was caught on the warning track for out number one. Navarro then smoked a ball to third but was thrown out and Bronkey skied out to retired the side. Florida pitcher Hannah Rogers went six scoreless innings, she gave up three hits while striking out six.
This left the ball in the hands of the senior, Cohen. Haeger led off the seventh inning as the SEC’s leader in homeruns. Cohen got the sophomore to chase the first pitch and she tapped out to Devon Wallace
at first base. Little would suffer the same fate as she skied out to Navarro. Horton then approached the plate and sent the first pitch she saw over the leftfield wall. One of Cohen’s few mistakes of the night was left over the plate and Horton gave the Gators their 31st win of the season, 1-0.
Next up, the Razorbacks will return home for ten straight games. The homestand begins with a single game against UMKC at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. A three-game series with Georgia will follow next weekend from March 29-30.