Florida wasted little time in jumping on Tennessee in the opening game of the 2015 Women's College World Series. And the Gators didn't let up, either, coming away with a 7-2 victory.
Newly named the national player of the year in the sport, Florida pitcher Lauren Haeger allowed two runs on just one hit in a complete game, and launched a home run to left in the bottom of the first inning to give the Gators a lead they would not relinquish.
Florida, which lost 2-1 to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament earlier in the month, would ominously leave the bases loaded in the first and second innings without adding another run. But the Gators plated two in the bottom of the third on a homer crushed by freshman Kayli Kvistad.
And Florida responded to Tennessee's only offense of the day — a two-run blast in the top of the fourth by Megan Geer that compounded a hit batter by Haeger — by capitalizing on Tennessee errors (the Vols made four on the afternoon) for two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
In the sixth inning, Florida once again loaded the bases, scoring two runs and threatening to run-rule the Volunteers by taking an eight-run lead. But defensive replacement Taylor Schwarz failed to secure an early exit against the team that ousted Florida from the SEC Tournament — so Haeger simply mowed down the Vols in the top of the seventh to close out the victory.
With the win, the Gators move on to a winners' bracket game on Friday. In that contest, Florida will face the winner of an Auburn-LSU clash to be played later today.