Following a three-hour rain delay in Tampa, No. 6 Florida outscored USF 21-3 in its opening day doubleheader.
Win: Chronister (1-0)
Loss: Corrick (0-1)
The Gators came out of the delay hot, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Senior designated player Jordan Matthews stroked a two-RBI double to right center that drove in senior second baseman Hannah Adams and junior third baseman Charla Echols for Florida’s first runs since last March. The encouraging start allowed the Gators to settle in. A few batters later, sophomore right fielder Baylee Goddard hit a RBI-single that brought sophomore catcher Julia Cottrill home.
After throwing a scoreless first inning, senior right-hander Natalie Lugo allowed three earned runs over the next two innings before getting pulled in the fourth inning for fifth-year senior southpaw Katie Chronister. Tied at three a piece, Chronister delivered 3.1 hitless innings, which led to another three-run inning in the top of the seventh.
Following back-to-back leadoff singles, Echols hit a two-RBI double that broke the tie and gave Florida a 5-3 lead. One batter later, Echols reached home safely on a Cottrill single that extended Florida’s lead to 6-3. Chronister hurled a one-two-three bottom of seventh that clinched Florida’s first victory of 2021.
Win: Hightower (1-0)
Loss: Hook (0-1)
The Gators mirrored continued their first-inning success, once again scoring three runs. Fitfth-year senior Kendyl Lindaman got things started with an RBI-double down the left-field line. Echols followed that up with a triple that scored Lindaman before Echols scored on a wild pitch. Barring a walk in the bottom of the first, junior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower struck out the side.
Florida poured on four more runs in the second inning thanks to a Lindaman infield RBI-single followed by an Echols three-run home run. After the Gators held the Bulls off the scoreboard in the bottom of the second, Florida added three more runs in the third capped off by junior centerfielder Cheyenne Lindsey’s solo shot to go up 10-0. On freshman Avery Goelz’s single, fifth-year senior left fielder Jamie Hoover stole home while Goelz stole second and advance to third on a bad throw.
After a one-two-three bottom of the third, Adams cleared the bases on a double to left center, which gave the Gators a commanding 13-0 lead. Florida scored two final runs in the fifth on a Goelz single before Trlicek delivered a one-two-three inning to complete the 10-run rule.
Echols: 6-6, 4 R, 6 RBI, 0 SO, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR
Adams: 4-7, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B
Lindsey: 3-4, HR, 4 R 3 BB
Lindaman: 2-6, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 2B
Matthews: 1-5, 2 RBI, 1 2B
Hightower (1-0): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Chronister (1-0): 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Lugo: (5.73 ERA, 1.91 WHIP) 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Florida and USF will wrap up their opening weekend series with a day game tomorrow at 1 before the Gators return to Gainesville for their home opener Wednesday against Jacksonville.