Florida head coach Tim Walton notched his 799th and 800th career wins as a Gator Saturday after No. 6 Florida defeated Georgia Southern and Charlotte in day two of the Bubly Invitational at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Win: Chronister (3-0)
Loss: Richardson (0-1)
Trailing 1-0 through 6 1/2 innings, Florida entered the bottom of the seventh inning in search of its second walk-off win this week.
After three walks loaded the bases with two outs, Florida third baseman Charla Echols delivered in the clutch, roping a single up the middle to score right fielder Avery Goelz and second baseman Hannah Adams.
Prior to the final inning, Georgia Southern right-hander Kyleigh Richardson threw a gem as she blanked Florida’s explosive offense for six straight innings. Florida southpaw Rylee Trlicek started in the circle for the Gators but only lasted four innings until senior Katie Chronister came in for relief. Neither pitcher allowed an earned run as Georgia Southern scored its lone run on Florida shortstop Kali Reis’ error.
Win: Hightower (2-0)
Loss: Hughes (0-1)
Save: Lugo (1)
Florida carried its offensive momentum in the second game, putting up five runs in the first inning. But UF’s bats stalled as the Gators laid goose eggs for the remainder of the game. Following Adams’ leadoff hit-by-pitch, first baseman Kendyl Lindaman hit an opposite-field dinger to give Florida an early 2-0 advantage. An Echols walk and a Goelz single put runners in scoring position before freshman catcher Emily Wilkie capped off the opening frame with her first career home run.
After cruising through the first several innings, right-handed pitcher Elizabeth Hightower surrendered lone runs in the top of the fifth and sixth. In the fifth, Hightower conceded a two-out RBI-double before yielding a bases-loaded walk an inning later. Senior right-hander Natalie Lugo entered the circle in Hightower’s relief and recorded the final four outs to record her first save this season.
Chronister: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (Season Totals: 0.00 ERA, 0.22 WHIP, .034 OBA)
Trlicek: 4 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (Season Totals: 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 250 OBA)
Hightower: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (Season Totals: 1.00 ERA, .86 WHIP, .163 OBA)
Echols: 1-5, R, 2 RBIs, 2 BB (Season Totals: .667 BA, 2 HRs, 11 RBIs)
Lindaman: 2-5, 2 RBIs, 1 HR, 2 BB
Goelz: 1-4, 2 R, 2 BB (Season Totals: .417 BA)
Wilkie: 1-2, 3 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB
The undefeated 6-0 Gators will wrap up the Bubly Invitational tomorrow with another doubleheader against the same two opponents. They’ll play Charlotte again at noon before taking on Georgia Southern for the third time at 3 p.m.