Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk.con

With two outs in the top of the seventh, Florida shortstop Sarah Longley revealed bunt before she pulled back and roped a grand slam — her first career home run — to center field to open up a 7-0 lead.

The Gators managed back-to-back homers after center fielder Cheyenne Lindsey extended the lead on a solo shot to deep center.

Junior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower took the circle in the bottom of the seventh and conceded a leadoff walk before she retired the next three batters to complete just the fourth complete-game no-hitter in Florida NCAA Softball Tournament history.

After knocking off the Bulls five times already this season, No. 4 Florida defeated USF 8-0 Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to capture the Gainesville NCAA Regional.

Hightower struck out 10 batters — matching her career-high — and allowed only three baserunners all via free passes.

Despite the commanding victory, it took the Gators four innings to finally get on the scoreboard. Third baseman Charla Echols and first baseman Kendyl Lindaman led off the top of the fourth with a pair of singles up the middle before catcher Julia Cottrill belted an RBI double to left-field wall.

After a hitless fifth frame, Cottrill delivered again the top of the sixth. The sophomore Wichita, Kansas, native hit a no-doubter solo home run onto the roof of the visiting bullpen beyond the left-field fence.

The Gators held onto a 2-0 advantage until the seventh inning when they went through four different USF pitchers. Prior to the back-to-back homers that put the nail in USF’s coffin, freshman pinch runner Katie Kistler scored Florida’s third run on left fielder Jaimie Hoover’s RBI groundout to second base.

Final (R/H/E)

UF: 8 / 10 / 0 

USF: 0 / 0 / 0

Pitching Decision

Win: Hightower (17-5)

Loss: Corrick (24-9)

Individual Stats

Lugo: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K

  1. Adams: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
  2. Wilkie: 1-4, 2 K
  3. Echols: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB
  4. Lindaman: 1-4, 1 K
  5. Cottrill: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBIs, 1 2B, 1 HR (5), 1 K, 1 HBP
  6. Hoover: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
  7. Goddard: 1-2, 1 R, 1 K, 2 HBP
  8. Longley: 2-2, 1 R, 4 RBIs, 1 HR (1) 1 K
  9. Lindsey: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR (5)

Rivalry Super Regional

The Gators will face Georgia next weekend at home in a best of three series to advance to the Women’s College World Series. The series opener will begin Friday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

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