UF Softball: Hightower Shines in No.5 Gators Win Against No.16 Seminoles

Elizabeth Hightower is now 7-0 on the season with a 0.69 ERA.
Photo by Hannah White

Courtesy of University Athletic Association


No. 5 Florida downed No. 16 Florida State, 5-0, behind a one-hit complete-game shutout from Elizabeth Hightower at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Friday afternoon.

In the Gators’ (14-0) first game against a top 25 opponent, Hightower (7-0) was lights-out in the circle as she turned in her second complete-game one-hit shutout of the season against the sixteenth-ranked Seminoles (10-4).

The Monticello, Fla. native faced 25 total batters and only allowed three walks in addition to the lone hit by Devyn Flaherty in the 6th inning of play.

Hightower was locked into a pitcher’s duel, with FSU’s Caylan Arnold (3-2) up until the 3rd inning when Sarah Longley picked up the Gators’ first hit with a lead-off single to left field.

Florida went on to break the scoreless tie in the 4th inning, thanks to Charla Echols. Echols gave UF a 1-0 lead over FSU when she turned on the 3-2 offering from Arnold and sent it over the right field wall.

The Seminoles went to the bullpen to start the 5th inning and brought in Danielle Watson. Watson was able to get an early double play for the first two outs, but Cheyenne Lindsey started a three-run rally with a perfectly placed bunt.

Shortly afterwards, Hannah Adams followed up with a full-count walk to set up an opportunity for Kendyl Lindaman to break the game open. Lindaman, despite falling behind in the count 1-2, blasted a three-run home run off the roof of the bullpen in left field to give Florida a 4-0 lead.

Florida State attempted to rally in the top of the 6th inning and had runners at 2nd and 3rd after a pair of batters reached via hit-by-pitch and Flaherty’s single, but Jaimie Hoover came up clutch in left field for Hightower and the Gators to get out of the jam.

Hoover raced in and slid to snag a sinking fly ball out in left field hit by Sydney Sherrill for the third out to end the threat.

The Gators’ offense struck for one more in the home half 6th inning, thanks to a bases-loaded RBI single from Lindsey to extend the lead out to 5-0.

From there, Hightower closed out the game with a pair of fly-outs for the first two outs, a walk, and a strikeout looking to end the game.

The two teams will play again tomorrow in Tallahassee at Joanne Graf Field on the ACC Network Extra at 6 p.m.

Notable Notes:

  • The Gators improved to 28-17 all-time against the Seminoles and 15-8 when playing at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
    • The team is now 1-0 against top 25 teams and 1-0 when playing on television.
  • Elizabeth Hightower threw her second complete-game one-hit shutout of the season.
    • The Gators have four one-hitters on the season, and Hightower has been involved in every one.
  • Cheyenne Lindsey turned in a 2-for-3 performance at the plate to extend her career-long hit streak out to eight games.
    • It’s also her fourth multi-hit game of the season.
  • Lindaman hit her second home run of the season in the 5th inning, and the three-run blast gives her five multi-RBI games on the year.
  • Hannah Adams extended her reached base streak to 14 games after she drew a walk in today’s game against FSU.
  • The Gators pitching staff hasn’t allowed more than five hits in a game so far this season and is averaging just 0.44 hits per inning pitched and only 2.93 hits given up per game.
  • Today was also the eighth shutout of the season, and the pitching staff holds a 0.75 ERA on the year.