ZEPHYRHILLS — Despite striking out 14 and launching a home run over the leftfield fence, Michelle Bradley needed a little help from her defense. Land O'Lakes committed four errors, and Zephyrhills took advantage to knock off the undefeated Gators 3-2 Friday night.
"It would have been a different ball game if we would have made the routine plays," Gators coach Jamie Martin said. "Well, pretty much (coach Craig Milburn) made some good calls on putting pressure on us and we cracked."
Bradley recorded her first 12 outs as strikeouts in the first four innings. In the top of the fourth she sent a 1-0 offering from Emily Kiediasch (47 pitches) over the leftfield wall for a 1-0 lead.
Zephyrhills wasted no time answering in the bottom of the inning, with Lacey Cook scoring on a wild throw by catcher Meghan Sfraga, who was trying to throw out Cook at third.
The Bulldogs (10-4) scored in the bottom of the sixth, but the Gators (9-1) battled back in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jennifer Patria sent a hit over first baseman Jessica Austin to lead off. After Samantha Crews reached on an error, Christin Boettcher popped out and Lauren Pasquale grounded out to third, but another error scored Patria from third to end the Gators' undefeated run.
"This game is so exciting," Bulldogs coach Craig Milburn said. "I have been in softball for 16 years and the excitement of this game is just in every pitch, and there is just so much I can do as a coach.
"But the credit goes to the girls."