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UF Softball: No. 5 Florida Falls on the Road to No. 16 Florida State

Florida still maintains a 28-18 lead in the all-time series with Florida State.
Photo by Margaret Dotson

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY HERB BROOKS

No. 5 Florida fell for the first time during the 2021 season in a 7-2 decision to No. 16 Florida State at JoAnne Graf Field Saturday evening.

Florida State (11-4) was able to even the 2021 series with the Gators (14-1), and the two teams have split the two-game set every year dating back to 2017.

The scoring opened in the 2nd inning of tonight’s game as the Seminoles were able to end a 10-inning scoring drought against the Gators, which dated back to the 5th inning of the lone 2020 meeting, with five runs on four hits. FSU was able to score on a wild pitch, a fielder’s choice bunt, and a two-RBI double before Natalie Lugo relieved left-handed starter Katie Chronister (5-1) in the circle.

Lugo was able to induce a groundout and a strikeout for the first two outs, but FSU was eventually able to strike for an additional run on a double to center field. Cheyenne Lindsey went back to the wall in what would have been an amazing play to make the grab and end the inning, but a collision with the wall forced the ball to pop out of the glove and to the ground.

Later on in the 4th inning, the Gators rallied and closed down the Seminoles lead to 5-2. The frame started with back-to-back singles as Kendyl Lindaman laced a lead-off single to right field, which was then followed by a base hit by Charla Echols.

With no outs, freshman Emily Wilkie put Florida on the board with a sharply hit double in the left center field gap to score pinch-runner Katie Kistler. Jaimie Hoover loaded the bases later on when Elizabeth Mason was charged for an error on a drop when receiving a throw at first.

That provided a SAC fly opportunity for Sarah Longley as she plated Echols on a flyout in foul territory down the right field line.

In the 5th inning, Florida State was able to plate a pair of unearned runs and pushed their lead out to 7-2 after an uncharacteristic dropped foul out in left field extended the inning.

The Gators poised themselves for a rally in the final frame as pinch-hitter Jordan Matthews led off the inning with a single just inside the third base bag. Hoover reentered the game during Longley’s at-bat and was able to race to third when Longley’s cue shot out to shortstop buckled the legs of Josie Muffley and forced her to make an errant throw from the knees to first.

Seminoles right-hander Kathryn Sandercock (5-1) however was able to work out of the jam to put an end to the contest with a strikeout, a groundout, and a lineout.

Next up for the Gators is a midweek tilt at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium against Kennesaw State at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network+.

Notable Notes:

  • The Gators fell to 28-18 all-time against the Seminoles and 13-10 when playing at JoAnne Graf Field.
    • The team is now 1-1 against top 25 teams on the season.
  • Cheyenne Lindsey turned in a 1-for-3 performance at the plate to extend her career-long hit streak out to nine games.
  • Charla Echols went 2-for-3 at the plate tonight, which gives her six multi-hit games on the season.
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