With two outs and runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth, UNF needed just one more out to escape the jam and head to the sixth inning down four runs.
But Florida pinch-hitter Sarah Longley reached base safely on UNF first baseman Paige Pfent’s error as she was unable to corral the throw from across the diamond. On the next at-bat, Florida left fielder Jamie Hoover scored on center fielder Cheyenne Lindsey’s infield single before second baseman Hannah Adams drove in Longley to give the Gators a commanding 7-0 lead.
First baseman Kendyl Lindaman drew a walk to load the bases for third baseman Charla Echols who delivered a walk-off single to cap off Florida’s epic two-out rally and clinch the run-rule victory. “I think we have a chance to be a really good offensive team,” Echols said. “Once we all come around, it’s going to be exciting to see us the rest of the year.”
Following a perfect 8-0 start, No. 6 Florida stayed in the win column Thursday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, defeating UNF 8-0 in just five innings.
Adams and Echols led things off with a pair of first-inning singles until sophomore catcher Julia Cottrill hit a line-drive, RBI-single for the first run of the game. On the ensuing at-bat, a fielding error on UNF shortstop Rebecca Koskey allowed Echols to score, extending Florida’s lead to 2-0.
Following a one-two-three top of the second inning, Lindaman roped a double into the right-center-field gap to score Adams. After laying a goose egg in the third inning, the Gators added another run in the fourth thanks to another Lindaman two-out, RBI-double. “I felt really good building up my confidence in this game tonight and I’m just ready to take it into the weekend,” Lindaman said after the game.
Florida right-hander Natalie Lugo hurled four scoreless innings until sophomore southpaw Rylee Trlicek took the circle for the final frame. Trick retired the side in order before the Gators tacked on four additional runs in the bottom half of the inning courtesy of an epic two-out rally en route to the run-rule victory.
Florida head coach Tim Walton praised the work of his pitching staff thus far. “I think we’ve done a good job limiting free passes — hit by pitches and walks — we’re not coupling any of those things with the snowball effect of allowing too many hits,” Walton said.
Win: Natalie Lugo (2-0)
Loss: Skyler Stockie (0-1)
Lugo: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (1.75 season ERA)
Trlicek: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 season ERA)
Adams: 3-4, 1 RBI, 2 R (.531 season BA)
Lindaman: 2-3, 2 RBI (.414 season BA)
Echols: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R (.531 season BA)
Cottrill: 2-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB (.348 season BA)
Lindsey: 2-3, 1 RBI, 2 R (.500 season BA)
The Gators’ homestand continues this weekend as they host back-to-back games against Louisville before facing McNeese State Sunday afternoon to complete the doubleheader. Saturday’s matinee versus Louisville will start at 1 p.m. and air on SEC Network+.