By Maren Angus
Every game day, Florida’s Jordan Roberts receives a text message from her dad with the words, “Just be ready. Be ready to answer the call.”
The sophomore answered the call with a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the fourth inning.
“It really is a dream come true,” Roberts said. “I’ve thought about this since I was a little girl.”
Head Coach Tim Walton made some tough matchup decisions throughout the Gators’ 11-3 run-rule win over Georgia on Thursday night. He decided to go with Roberts instead of the hot-hitting freshman Jordan Matthews when Georgia made a pitching change. He wanted the lefty-on-righty match up rather than a lefty-on-lefty.
“I liked our right-handed bat off the bench a little better,” Walton said. “Second furthest ball I’ve every seen hit here in a Gator uniform… But that was a bomb. She high-fived me, I usually fist bump. We fist bumped, high-fived.
“Just to be able to be in the dugout when a kid comes back, and that’s all she said she’s ever dreamed of in her entire life in a softball uniform. That makes it special. I think it’s pretty fun.”
As she referred back to the simple text message her dad sent before the game, she mentioned that her family couldn’t make it to Oklahoma City this year. Her older sister just had a baby and her younger sister just graduated but she was full prepared to respond to the overflowing inbox of text messages waiting for her.
“I’m very sure about that (texts),” Roberts said laughing. “I just said that to Jamie Hoover, (like) my phone’s probably blowing up right now.”
“New, biggest, brightest star in Live Oak, Florida, right now,” said Walton.”
“That’s right,” Roberts replied back.
UCLA Completes Comeback against FSU
Entering Thursday night’s game, only two players in UCLA program history had eclipsed 300 hits in a career. Deep into the Oklahoma City night, Kylee Perez became the third.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Perez said. “But I think what means more to me is that I could do it and have their (teammates) back get the win. So I’d take that any day.”
With UCLA down 4-2 with two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth, Perez went for it. She turned on a ball on the outside corner and sent it over the right field wall to give her team a 5-4 lead. The Bruin bats came alive and added some insurance to finish a 7-4 come-from-behind victory over Florida State.
“Being a senior, I’ve been here for the past three years,” Perez said. “So, I mean, I’m not going down looking. I’m not going down without a bang. I was doing my best and honestly, I was going for it. I don’t do that much… I was going for it.”
Rachel Garcia struck out 15 Seminoles to improve her record to 28-3.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates behind me,” Garcia said. “Being able to turn around and always make eye contact with, especially Ky(lee), her telling me to take a deep breath before each pitch. That’s what got me focused and made sure I was staying in the zone.”