Final: Florida 6, Fresno State 4
Win – Hightower (1-0)
Loss – East (0-1)
Save – Lugo (1)
Tampa, FL – Natalie Lugo came in clutch in the seventh inning as Florida held for a 6-4 victory over Fresno State on the second day of the USF-Rawlings Invitational. The Gators improved to 2-0 on the season and handed Fresno State its first loss of the season as the Bulldogs dropped to 3-1.
The Gators got out to a steady start offensively, scoring at least a run in each of the first 5 innings. Sophomore transfer, Charla Echols, got the Gators out to an early lead when she singled up the middle in the first inning.
In the second inning, Cheyenne Lindsey’s RBI-double down the right field line drove in another run to give Florida a 2-0 lead.
Jordan Roberts extended Florida’s lead in the third inning by driving in a run on a fielder’s choice.
Fresno State answered in the bottom half of the inning, however. The Bulldogs tied the game up at 3 thanks to Schuylar Broussard’s RBI-single and Kaitlyn Jennings’ 2-RBI single.
Florida wasted no time in regaining its lead. In the top of the fourth, Charla Echols drove in her second run of the game and Jordan Matthews drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Gators a 5-3 lead.
In the fifth inning, both teams tallied another run on solo home runs. Florida’s Cheyenne Linsey hit the first of the two with 2 outs in the inning. Fresno State’s Alexandra Preston hit the second over the left-field wall.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Fresno State nearly pulled off a comeback. With bases loaded and 1 out, Florida pitcher Natalie Lugo entered the game and worked the Gators out of jam to secure the win.
- Freshman pitcher, Rylee Trlicek, got the win in her first start as a Gator
- Elizabeth Hightower pitched 3 strong innings, allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 4
- Charla Echols continues her red-hot start as a transfer, going 3-4 with 2 RBIs
- Cheyenne Lindsey went 3-3 with a home run and 2 RBIs
Final: Michigan 11, Florida 2 (6)
Win – Storako (1-0)
Loss – Lugo (1-1)
Tampa, FL – It took just 6 innings for the 7th ranked Florida Gators to record its first loss of the 2020 season. The Gators were 8-run ruled by the 17th ranked Michigan Wolverines in the latter half of Florida’s double-header on second day of the USF-Rawlings Invitational. The final score was 11-2. It was the first game of Michigan’s double-header, so the Wolverines were well-rested. Michigan plays USF later this afternoon. Florida falls to 3-1, while Michigan improves to 3-0 for the season.
The Michigan Wolverines got out to quick start, scoring 5 runs on a 2-out rally in the first inning. Natalie Lugo got the start for Florida but couldn’t keep the momentum rolling from her save in the Fresno State game. Lugo gave up 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk in 1 inning pitched. Sophomore pitcher Danni Farley saw her first action of the season when she came in for relief in the second inning. Farley struggled to find the strike zone, walking 4 batters and allowing 2 earned runs in 3 innings pitched. The Gators couldn’t get much going offensively, scoring its only 2 runs on solo homers from Kendyl Lindaman and Charla Echols. In the top of the sixth, Michigan scored 4 more runs to extend its lead to 11-2. In the bottom half of the inning, Michigan pitcher Alex Storako threw a 1-2-3 inning to cap off her complete game and give the Wolverines a win by virtue the 8-run mercy rule.
Florida’s loss is its first ever in tournaments hosted at USF (31-1)
Charla Echols hit 2-2 with a home run, bringing her season batting average to .667
8 different Michigan players recorded at least one hit
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) February 8, 2020