The Florida Gators moved one step closer to their goal of a third national title with a 7-1 defeat of Oregon State to open the 2022 Women’s College World Series.
Florida earned the win to remain in the winner’s bracket behind a gutsy performance from relief pitcher Natalie Lugo, who entered with bases loaded and no outs and didn’t surrender a run.
Oregon State got on the scoreboard first as a one out double by X Jin came around to score on a single two batters later.
As stated previously, the Beavers missed a huge opportunity to add to their lead in the second when they loaded the bases without recording an out. Head coach Tim Walton made the move to Natalie Lugo out of the bullpen. Lugo somehow escaped the jam unscathed and Florida gained the momentum heading to the bottom half of the frame.
Back to Back singles by Reagan Walsh and Cheyenne Lindsey put Florida in scoring position. With two down, Avery Goelz reached on a ball badly misplayed at first base and two runs scored to put the Gators on top, 2-1.
In the fourth inning, Goelz came through again. This time with one out, the first baseman singled up the middle to score two more.
Charla Echols added a solo home run in the fifth to put the Gators in command at 5-1.
Florida extended the lead to 7-1 on back to back RBI singles by Cali Decker and Goelz.
Goelz finished the game 2-3 with 3 RBI but the story was Lugo. The super-senior threw the final six innings of the ballgame allowing one hit and striking out six without walking a hitter.
- Lugo: 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
- Lindsey: 3-3, 3 R
- Kistler: 2-3, 2 R
- Goelz: 2-3, 3 RBI
- W: Natalie Lugo (12-5)
- L: Haendigies (13-7)
Florida advances in the winner’s bracket and will face the winner of tonight’s Oklahoma State – Arizona game. The game will take place Saturday at 7:00 PM ET.