Entering the bottom of the seventh inning scoreless, Florida center fielder Cheyenne Lindsey led off with a bunt single that put the game-winning run on base with no outs. “[Cheyenne’s] been a great nine-hole hitter for us…she’s like another leadoff,” Second baseman Hannah Adams said.
Adams lifted the Gators to victory Wednesday night after knocking a double off the wall in left-center field that scored Lindsey all the way from first base before Jacsonville’s throw reached home plate.@
After sweeping USF in an opening weekend doubleheader in Tampa Saturday, No. 6 Florida defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins 1-0 in its home opener at Katie Pressly Seashole Stadium.
Salvaged by Lindsey’s diving grab, junior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower tossed a one-two-three inning before Adams led off the bottom of the first with a double to center field. First baseman Kendyl Lindaman drew walk before third baseman Charla Echols’ line-drive single loaded the bases with no outs. But the Gators failed to capitalize as Jacksonville right-handed pitcher Alyssa Bilodeau struck out the next three straight UF batters to escape the bases-loaded jam.
Following a hitless second inning and a runless third, Florida sparked a prime scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fourth when three base hits including two infield singles loaded the bases with one out. But Lindsey fouled out and Adams flied out to deep center field, stranding three baserunners for the second time in four innings.
“Pressure’s on the pitcher in those situations…so we’ve got to do a good job of being consistent,” UF head coach Tim Walton said. “We’re not somebody who’s going to make a two-strike adjustment nor are we going to make a bases-loaded adjustment.”
Hightower dealt 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four Dolphins, until Florida southpaw Katie Chronister entered the circle in relief. The Gainesville native recorded two quick outs, before Bilodeau blanked the Gators for the fifth and sixth consecutive innings.
Chronister kept Jacksonville off the scoreboard one last time in the top of the seventh before Adams walked it off in the bottom half of the inning.
Win: Chronister (2-0): 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Loss: Bilodeau (2-1): 6 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Hightower: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Adams: 2-4, RBI
Lindsey: 1-3, 1 R, 1 K
Lindaman: 1-2, BB
Echols: 2-3 (.889 season batting avg)
Upcoming Bubly Invitational
The Gators will return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Friday to open up this year’s Bubly Invitational against Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. Unlike last year’s event in which Florida faced four different opponents, they’ll play only two different teams this year: Georgia Southern and Charlotte. The Gators will wrap up the invitational with a doubleheader against both teams on Saturday before facing each team in reverse order on Sunday. Florida swept its six-game 2020 Bubly Invitational slate, outscoring its opponents 41-2.