UF Softball: No. 7 Gators Take First Game of Sunshine Showdown Against No. 12 Florida State

Charla Echols (Right) hit her eighth home run of the season to give the Gators a 2-1 lead in the 3rd inning.
Photo by Isabella Marley

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

The No. 7-ranked Florida Gators defeated in-state foe No. 12 Florida State, 5-2, in the first installment of the Sunshine Showdown.

The Gators (23-4) rallied behind a pair of two-out two-run home runs from senior Kendyl Lindaman and sophomore Charla Echols in the 3rd & 5th innings.

After UF fell behind early 1-0 on a solo home run in the 1st inning by Elizabeth Mason, Echols gave the Gators a 2-1 lead when she blasted the 0-1 pitch offered from Seminole (17-7) starter Caylan Arnold (5-3) over the center field wall. Lindaman broke up Arnold’s no-hitter in the previous at-bat with a looping single to right field.

Florida State tied the game 2-2 when Morgan Noah started the frame with a double that popped out of the diving glove of Lindsey in left field. UF then made the call to the bullpen and brought in senior Katie Chronister (3-0) in relief of starting pitcher Rylee Trlicek.

A SAC bunt moved Noah to third, and pinch-hitter Leslie Farris drove in Noah on a fielder’s choice.

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In the home half of the inning, Lindaman gave the Gators the lead for good when she belted her seventh home run of the year off of FSU reliever Kathryn Sandercock. Sandercock entered in relief of Arnold when Hannah Adams produced a two-out double down the left field line.

With the lead back in hand 4-2, Florida opted to bring in Natalie Lugo out of the bullpen. The West Covina, Calif. native retired six of the final seven Seminole batters she faced on the way to her sixth save of the season and picked up three strikeouts during the process.

The Gators tacked on a run in the 6th inning when freshman Julia Cottrill slapped a line drive down the right field line that popped out of the Seminole right-fielder’s glove. Cottrill slid into second and was replaced by pinch-runner E.C. Taylor.

After falling behind 0-2, Cheyenne Lindsey came through and drove home Taylor with an RBI single through the left side.

Notable Notes

  • The Gators improved their all-time records against Florida State to 26-17 and 14-8 when playing at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
    • Florida also improved to 190-47 against in-state opponents and 139-17 under the direction of head coach Tim Walton.
    • The Gators are 6-0 on the season against in-state opponents.
  • Charla Echols belted her eighth home run of the season in the 3rd inning against Florida State, and Lindaman crushed her seventh in the 5th inning.
  • Lindaman extended her hitting streak to 10 games and now has a hit in 25 of the 27 games played.
    • She has also reached base safely in every game this year.
  • Echols notched her 10th multi-RBI game of the year with the two-run home run.
  • Tonight was the Gators 7th come-from-behind victory of the season.
    • It’s the fifth time this season UF has fallen behind 1-0 in the first inning and rallied to win.

Next Up

Florida takes on No. 24/18 Baylor for a non-conference three-game series this Friday through Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.