After defeating No. 20 UCF Wednesday in Gainesville, No. 7 Florida fell to No. 17 Auburn Friday night 3-1 on the road.
The Gators drop to 28-6 overall and 5-5 in conference play — ninth in the SEC.
Senior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle for the Gators and pitched all six innings. Hightower struck out a season-high nine batters but yielded a pair of home runs en route to picking up her second loss this season.
Offensively, the Gators struggled to produce much against Auburn right-hander Maddie Penta. Florida stranded four batters through the first four innings before finally driving in its lone run in the top of the sixth.
Fifth-year second baseman Hannah Adams led off with a base hit before she advanced to third and scored on senior center fielder Cheyenne Lindsey’s sacrifice fly.
Penta recorded the first 19 outs before Auburn southpaw Shelby Lowe came in for relief in the bottom of the seventh and recorded back-to-back strikeouts to close the game. Penta earned her 18th win this year — tied for the second most in the nation.
#7 Florida: 1 / 6 / 1
#17 Auburn: 3 / 6 / 0
Win: Penta (18-2)
Loss: Hightower (9-2)
Save: Lowe (5)
RHP Hightower: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K [2.00/1.20 season ERA/WHIP]
- SS Wallace: 1-4, 2 K [.425 season BA]
- 2B Adams: 1-3, R, BB, K [.374]
- 3B Echols: 0-2, BB, K, HBP [.289]
- RF Lindsey: 0-2, RBI, 2 K [.371]
- DP Walsh: 1-3, K [.292]
- LF Kistler: 0-3, K [.353]
- C Wilkie: 0-3 [.208]
- CF Falby: 2-3, K [.427]
- 1B A. Goelz: 1-3 [.347]
The Gators will look to even the series Saturday at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.
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