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UF Softball: No. 5 Florida Blows Past Bulldogs to Capture Series

Photo by Chamberlain Smith

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY HERB BROOKS

The victory was the fourth largest margin of victory over the Bulldogs

No. 5 Florida used a 7th-inning offensive explosion to run away with a 10-0 victory over Mississippi State Saturday afternoon at Nusz Park. UF pounded out 10 total hits and capitalized on five MSU errors en route to the win.

The Gators (20-2, 4-1 SEC) plated nine runs on seven hits in the final frame of the game to secure the series over the Bulldogs (15-10, 0-5 SEC). The inning was highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Hannah Adams (1-for-4) and Kendyl Lindaman (2-for-4).

Florida opened the scoring in the top of the 1st inning of play when Adams was hit by the 1-0 pitch and Lindaman reached on an error by Montana Davidson at third. With two outs, Avery Goelz (2-for-4) ripped a two-out RBI single to left field that scored Adams from second base and gave UF an early 1-0 lead.

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In the circle, Natalie Lugo (5-1) hurled 5.0 innings and kept the Bulldogs offense off balance as she only surrendered three hits. Elizabeth Hightower earned her third save of the season when she entered the game with a 1-0 lead, a runner on first, and inherited a 3-0 count to Fa Leilua, who eventually reached on a full-count walk.

Hightower relied on her defense as she induced Carter Spexarth to hit into a 5-4 double play and fielded a groundout back to the circle to end the inning and preserve the shutout.

The scoring frenzy started immediately in the 7th inning when Lindaman belted a single to left field and Charla Echols (2-for-5) reached when the ball popped out of a glove during a collision by Montana Davidson and Madisyn Kennedy behind the bag at third base.

Julia Cottrill (2-for-5) put down a bunt single to load the bases with no outs and Avery Goelz pushed the lead out to 2-0 with a four-pitch RBI walk.

Jaimie Hoover (1-for-3) extended the lead out to 3-0 with a squeeze bunt that scored Echols and Bryn Thomas opened the game up when she lifted a ball to left field that scored Goelz and Cottrill. The Bulldogs forced a throw to second to try and eliminate Hoover, but it went wide, which allowed Hoover and Thomas to advance to second and third.

Cheyenne Lindsey (2-for-4) scored Thomas and Hoover with a shot to right field and Adams followed up with a monster two-run home run to right field which gave the Gators a 9-0 lead. Lindaman put the exclamation point on the victory when she launched the 2-0 offering over the left field wall.

Bulldogs starting pitcher Alyssa Loza (1-3) was charged with the loss after lasting 2.2 innings.

Notable Notes:

  • The Gators improved to 39-20 all-time against the Bulldogs and 19-8 when playing in Starkville against MSU.
    • The 10-0 shutout was the 18th all-time shutout of Mississippi State.
    • The victory was the fourth largest margin of victory over the Bulldogs.
      • March 16, 2011 | 18-1 (5)
      • March 28, 2015 | 16-2 (5)
      • April 22, 2016 | 16-0 (5)
      • March 20, 2021 | 10-0 (7)
  • Florida now has 10 shutouts on the season and is one of eight teams to have 10 or more shutouts.
  • Hightower extended her scoreless inning streak to 14.1 innings, which bests career-long 13.1 innings she set earlier this season.
  • Hannah Adams extended her hit-streak out to seven games, which ties her career-long she set Feb. 21-March 2 earlier this season.
  • Kendyl Lindaman and Charla Echols tallied their sixth and 10th multi-hit games of the year respectively.
    • Lindaman has currently reached base safely 10 consecutive games.
  • Adams and Lindaman connected for back-to-back home runs in the 7th inning.
    • It’s the first time the Gators have hit back-to-back home runs since Echols and Lindaman went back-to-back against in the 1st inning against Jacksonville Feb. 19, 2020.
  • The combination of Lugo and Hightower held MSU batters to only four hits today.
    • Mississippi State has only been held to five or less hits only five times this season.
    • Florida pitching has held opponents to five hits or less 19 out of 22 games played so far this season.