Cathedral City, California – The seventh ranked Florida Gators kicked off the 2020 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with two nail-biting victories, defeating #5 Arizona and #25 Northwestern each by a score of 3-2. Florida improved to 14-1 overall (2-0 in the Mary Nutter Classic), while Arizona dropped to 11-3 overall (2-2) and Northwestern fell to 4-7 overall (0-2).
Game 1 Recap
Final: Florida 3, Arizona 2
Win: Rylee Trlicek (5-0)
Loss: Alyssa Denham (4-1)
Starting pitchers, Rylee Trlicek and Mariah Lopez, were able to escape out the first two innings without allowing a run despite eight combined runners being left on base. In the bottom of the third, however, Florida took the first lead of the game thanks to Charla Echols’ seventh home run (1 RBI) of the season.
Florida’s starting pitcher, Rylee Trlicek, was dealing against a formidable Arizona lineup until the fifth inning when the Wildcats broke the shutout. Starting catcher, Sharlize Palacios, singled to right field to drive in lead-off hitter, Alyssa Palomino.
Florida quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning when Hannah Adams led off with a solo shot down the right-field line to put the Gators back on top, 2-1.
In the top of the sixth, Arizona tied it back up on a throwing error by Trlicek that scored Isabella Dayton from third base.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Kendyl Lindaman extended her hitting streak to thirteen games on a clutch RBI-single up the middle of the infield that drove in E.C. Taylor.
With a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh, Trlicek shut down Arizona’s bats to cap off her complete game and secure Florida’s win.
Game 2 Recap
Final: Florida 3, Northwestern 2
Win: Rylee Trlicek (6-0)
Loss: Sydney Supple (0-1)
Despite both teams having a plethora of baserunners early on, the game was scoreless until the sixth inning. Florida left five runners on base throughout the game, and Northwestern left a jaw-dropping twelve runners on base.
Natalie Lugo got the start for Florida and threw 4.2 scoreless innings, while Sydney Supple got the nod for Northwestern. In the top of the sixth, Supple broke the tie on an RBI-single that snuck through the right side of the infield.
Kendyl Lindaman once again came in clutch for the Gators, tying the game at 1 a piece on a solo home run to left-center. Lindaman’s homer extended her hitting streak to an astonishing fourteen games.
Rylee Trlicek, who entered the circle in relief for Lugo in the fifth inning, ran into some trouble in the seventh. Northwestern added on one more run, giving the Wildcats the 2-1 advantage heading into the last half inning.
It was time for the Gators to rally, and they did just that. Cheyenne Lindsey led off the inning with a bunt-single. The next batter, Sophia Reynoso, got hit by a pitch, and Northwestern pulled Sydney Supple in favor of right-hander Kenna Wilkey.
Wilkey failed to deliver, recording just one out before Hannah Adams roped a walk-off single into right field that scored Lindsey and Reynoso.
The Gators play another doubleheader tomorrow, and they’ll once again have their work cut out for them. The Gators will face #16 Arizona State at 5:30 ET followed by #1 UCLA at 8:30 ET. Arizona State currently sits at 10-2 after defeating Auburn on Thursday in its first game of the Mary Nutter Classic. As for UCLA, the Bruins are undefeated at 11-0 on the season.