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UF Softball: No. 6 Gators Shut Out No. 10 Ragin’ Cajuns in Series Opener

Katie Chronister picked up her first win of the season after 3.2 innings of shutout relief work against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Photo by Piper Hansen

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

No. 6-ranked Florida shut out No. 10 Louisiana, 6-0, in the first game of a three-game series Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The Gators (17-2) played great defense, produced timely hits, and received solid pitching performances from Natalie Lugo and Katie Chronister (1-0) for the definitive win over the Ragin’ Cajuns (12-5). Lugo hurled 3.1 innings and allowed three hits in her ninth start of the season, while Chronister pitched effectively in the final 3.2 innings for her first win of the season.

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Florida’s defense turned its first double play of the evening in the top of the 2nd inning. With runners on first and second with no outs, Cheyenne Lindsey streaked from her position in left field to snag a line drive off the bat of Melissa Mayeux and fired it to Hannah Adams at second to double up Sarah Hudek at second base.

With Ragin’ Cajun runners on the corners and one out in the 4th inning, UF turned its second double play of the game when Charla Echols fielded a slow grounder at third and fired home to Julia Cottrill for the tag on Raina O’Neal. Cottrill made a heads-up play and hurled the ball to Adams, who then snapped it to Reynoso to catch Taylor Roman in a pickle between second and third.

Adams turned the third double play of the game in the 5th inning when she scooped up the slow-rolling grounder off the bat of Julie Rawls, made the tag on Bailey Curry going from first to second, spun 360 degrees, and whipped it over to Lindaman at first in time to end the inning.

However, the defensive highlights were not over, as Lindsey showed off her arm in left field to preserve the shutout. With a runner on second and two outs, Lindsey fielded a shot through the left side of the infield and mowed down Mayeux at home to end the 6th inning.

Offensively, Lindaman (2-for-3) and Echols (3-for-4) combined for five of the Gators’ nine hits, while Adams, Roberts, Cottrill, and Reynoso chipped in a hit apiece.

Notable Notes

  • Florida improved to 6-5 overall in the all-time series with Louisiana.
  • Tonight’s shutout was the fourth ranked win, which gives the team a 4-2 record on the season against Top 25 opponents.
    • It’s the first shutout of the season against a Top 25 opponent.
    • All-Time USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll Record | 328-249
      • Under Walton | 264-120
    • All-Time ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll Record | 286-160
      • Under Walton | 260-122
  • Tonight’s three double plays are a season-high for the Gators and now gives the team 11 on the season.
    • The team’s previous season high of two occurred against UNF (2/12) & Arizona (2/21).
  • Echols turned in her team-leading eighth multi-hit & multi-RBI game of the season.
  • Lindaman now has reached base safely in all 19 games so far this season and has produced a hit in 17 of those games.
  • Lindsey’s two outfield assists are the first for the Gators this season.
    • The last outfield assist occurred against No. 12 Tennessee in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament by Alex Voss.
    • It’s also the first time the Gators have produced two outfield assists in one game since Ole Miss when Caraway and Voss each recorded one in the 15-inning thriller in Oxford.
  • Freshman Mia Buffano picked up her first career start as a Gator in right field.

Next Up

Florida returns for the second game of the series against No. 10/9 Louisiana Saturday at 1 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.