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UF Softball: No. 5 Gators Down Fighting Hawks in Midweek Action

Emily Wilkie belted her first career grand slam in tonight’s game against North Dakota.
Photo by Anna Carrington

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY HERB BROOKS

No. 5 Florida defeated North Dakota, 7-1, Wednesday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Freshman Emily Wilkie broke the game open with her first career grand slam, and sophomore Rylee Trlicek (1-0) picked up her first win of the season.

The Gators (18-2) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead over the Fighting Hawks (8-14) in the 1st inning. Charla Echols started a two-out rally with a bouncing single up the middle.

Julia Cottrill extended the inning after she reached on a throwing error by the North Dakota shortstop, which was followed up by a four-pitch walk drawn by Avery Goelz to load the bases.

Wilkie worked ahead in the count 3-0 before UND starting pitcher Jannay Jones (4-4) was able to locate a strike. The Cumming, Ga. native watched the next offering from Jones for the first strike and then fouled off the next pitched to work the count full. She then launched the following pitch well over the scoreboard in left center field to clear the bases and give the Gators a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished.

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Florida tacked on one more run in the bottom of the 2nd inning to move out to a 5-0 lead over North Dakota. Cheyenne Lindsey drew a one-out walk, then stole her seventh base of the season to set the table for leadoff batter Hannah Adams.

Adams drove in Lindsey when she sent the 2-2 pitch off the outstretched glove of the Madison Pederson at first base.

North Dakota closed down the Florida lead to 5-1 in the top of the 4th inning of play. The Fighting Hawks mounted a two-out rally and scored on an uncharacteristic infield error by the Gators.

Florida responded in the home half of the inning, with Lindsey and Adams drawing back-to-back walks. The duo then stole second and third, which allowed Kendyl Lindaman (2-for-4) to rip a single through the left side and score Lindsey.

Echols capped the scoring when she lifted a SAC fly to left field that scored Adams, which pushed the Gators’ lead out to 7-1.

In the circle, Rylee Trlicek hurled 4.0 innings and allowed no earned runs on four hits and one walk, which also include a pair of strikeouts.

Following Trlicek in relief were Natalie Lugo, Katie Chronister, and Elizabeth Hightower. The trio recorded an inning of work in the circle and a pair of strikeouts each.

The Fighting Hawks only managed to pick up one hit against the trio through the final three innings of play.

The Gators now set their sights back on Southeastern Conference action as the team will now head to Starkville, Miss. to take on Mississippi State in a three-game series this Friday through Sunday.

  • Emily Wilkie’s grand slam was the first of her career and her second home run of the season.
    • The grand slam was also the first grand slam of the season for the Gators and the first grand slam since April 28, 2019, when Jordan Roberts produced one in the 1st inning at No. 19 Auburn.
  • Kendyl Lindaman turned in a 2-for-4 performance tonight, which is her fourth multi-hit game of the season.
  • Hannah Adams extended her hitting streak out to five games, and Julia Cottrill pushed her hitting streak out to three games.
  • Cheyenne Lindsey stole a career-high two bases tonight and is now 8-for-8 on the year and 12-for-13 in her career.