Georgia softball falls 5-2 to Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The No. 23 Georgia softball team fell 5-2 to the second-ranked Florida on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series.

Geri Ann Glasco (17-7) earned the start for the Bulldogs (35-17, 12-8 Southeastern Conference), holding the Gators (46-6, 15-5) scoreless through three, before giving up a three-run home run in the fourth. Glasco allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in three innings of work. Morgan Montemayor came on in relief of Glasco in the fourth and threw the final three innings for Georgia. Lauren Haeger (13-2) got the start for Florida and allowed two runs on five hits and struck out nine batters in the complete-game performance.

Kaylee Puailoa gave Georgia its first hit of the game with a one-out single through the left side in the top of the second. Puailoa moved to second when Anna Swafford was hit by a pitch for a team-leading ninth time this season. With runners at first and second, Tess Sito delivered a two-run double down the left field line that gave the Bulldogs an early 2-0 lead.

Florida put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the second, but Swafford connected with Puailoa on a 5-3 double play that left a runner at second with two outs. Glasco recorded the final out to get out of the jam on a come-backer to the circle that retired the Florida side.

Florida answered in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. A leadoff walk and a single put a pair of runners, and Haeger took a pitch high and deep over the left-field wall for a three-run homerun that gave the Gators their first lead of the weekend at 3-2. Following the home run, the Bulldogs turned to Montemayor, who quickly recorded the first out of the inning. Taylor Schwarz then singled through the right side, but was out at second when Bailey Castro hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out. With a runner at first, Ensley Gammel doubled off the wall in left field that scored Castro and gave the Gators a 4-2 lead. A groundout ended the inning with a runner at second.

The Gators added a run in the bottom of the fifth as Kelsey Stewart led off the inning with single and scored on a single by Stephanie Tofft. With a runner on first, the Bulldog defense turned its second double play of the game as Swafford threw to Sito for the second out before Sito fired to Glasco at first for out number three.

Puailoa led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left field and moved to third when Sito recorded her second double of the game, this one to the gap in right center, putting runners at second and third with one away. Haeger struck out the next two batters, sealing the 5-2 win for the Gators.

Georgia and Florida will play the rubber game at noon today on CSS.

— From staff reports

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