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UA ends Florida home softball skid

Hannah Gammill

FAYETTEVILLE -- Hannah Gammill's back-to-back home runs and solid defense were big factors in No. 12 University of Arkansas' 6-2 win over the No. 8 Florida.

The top-10 matchup was the Razorbacks' first win against the Gators at Bogle park.

"I'm happy that we got the win to start off the series," Arkansas Coach Courtney Deifel said. "I thought our team played really well and got better as the game went, which I really liked. ... So I was just really pleased with the collective effort tonight."

Arkansas' Chenise Delce (12-4) pitched a complete game after coming off a 10-inning, complete-game performance against Alabama on Monday. The Tulsa native had a tougher start in the circle during Friday's game.

"[Delce] has a lot of guts," Deifel said. "I honestly felt at the start of the game she didn't have her great stuff and she looked like she was moving a little slower. ... I kind of challenged her after that first inning and she kind of kicked it into gear. She's just a competitor. She's doing really well."

The senior faced 31 batters, gave up 2 earned runs, 5 hits, 4 walks and finished with 6 strikeouts.

It took the Razorbacks four innings to put things in motion. Gammill smacked a homer over the left-field fence on her first pitch as the inning's lead-off batter. The Beebe native's second home run of the season tied the game at 1-1.

"We were down 1-0," Gammill said. "Tied it up. I think that was a big game-changer and it's just fun to hit home runs."

Next up, Cylie Halvorson singled down the left-field baseline and took two more bases on a passed ball and wild pitch. Kacie Hoffmann drove in Halvorson after a close call at the plate. The score stretched to 2-1 with zero outs.

After working around the bases, Hoffman scored on a sacrifice fly by Atalyia Rijo to make the score 3-1.

In the fifth inning, Gammill hit her second home run to raise the score to 4-2. She had been in a season-long hitting slump, but Deifel said the junior's hard work outside of the game has started to pay off.

"I would be surprised if it wasn't Hannah Gammill," Deifel said. "We knew at some point it was going to happen. She's been grinding. ... It just felt like she was getting a little closer to getting back to Hannah, and then we got to see that tonight. So just really happy for her more than anything. She's been working her tail off."

In the following inning, Rijo singled up the middle to drive in Lauren Camenzind from third.

With the bases loaded, Raigan Kramer grounded out to the pitcher, driving in a run to make the 6-2.

Delce put the finishing stamp on the game with a swinging strikeout, her 95th of the season.

"[I know] my teammates got my back," Delce said. "And knew that the offense was going to have my back too as well. Just [tried] not to put too much pressure on anything."

Despite thunderstorms and inclement weather warnings, Arkansas locked down their fifth straight win.

"We just want to get better," Deifel said. "We just want to compete and focus on our process and focus on being better Razorback Softball every day. I think we did that today too after coming off [Monday's game]."

Game 2 of the series is at 8 p.m. today. The game will televised on ESPN2.

"[Winning Friday's game] is very important," Delce said. "It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the weekend."

Print Headline: UA ends Florida home softball skid


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