Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

Following last weekend’s road-series win over No. 17 Auburn, No. 7 Florida fell to No. 2 Florida State 4-2 after 10 innings Wednesday in Gainesville.

The Gators drop to 30-7 overall, 15-5 at home, and 6-4 against ranked opponents.

After a pair of scoreless opening innings, Florida hopped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when freshman center fielder Kendra Falby reached second base on an error and scored on senior second baseman Hannah Adams’ single up the middle.

The Seminoles answered in the top of the fourth with a pair of base hits to tie the game, but the Gators regained a one-run advantage in the bottom of the fifth via senior third baseman Charla Echols’ RBI single.

In the top of the sixth, Florida State tied the game back up after stringing together a trio of singles off Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower. Hightower made her 14th start this season this season and pitched the first seven frames before turning the ball over to right-hander Natalie Lugo in extras.

Lugo cruised through the eighth and ninth innings but surrendered a go-ahead solo shot to lead off the top of the tenth. With one out, sophomore southpaw Haley Pittman relieved Lugo and yielded a double before a sacrifice fly gave Florida State a 4-2 lead.

The Gators failed to respond in the bottom of the tenth as senior Florida State pitcher Kathryn Sandercock forced three straight groundouts to secure the rivalry win and her 19th victory this season — third in the nation.

Final (R/H/E)

#2 Florida State: 4 / 11 / 2

#7 Florida: 2 / 9 / 0

Pitching Decision

Win: Lugo (7-3)

Loss: Sandercock (19-0)

Individual Stats

RHP Hightower: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K 

RHP Lugo: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

LHP Pittman: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

  1. CF Falby: 2-5, R, 2B, K
  2. SS Wallace: 1-5, R, 2 SB
  3. 2B Adams: 1-5, RBI, K
  4. 3B Echols: 2-3, RBI, 2 BB
  5. DP Walsh: 1-5, K
  6. RF Lindsey: 0-5, 3 K
  7. C Roe: 2-3
  8. 1B A. Goelz: 0-3, BB
  9. LF Kistler: 0-3, BB, 2 K, SB

Gators Welcome Tide

The Gators will look to bounce back this weekend as they get prepared to host No. 5 Alabama in a pivotal SEC series. It will mark Florida’s ninth consecutive game versus a ranked opponent. The Crimson Tide enter the matchup 31-5 overall and boast a conference-best 8-4 record. Saturday’s series opener is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and will air on ESPN.

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