The No. 6 Gators Softball team (9-0) continues their homestand with two games against Louisville (3-4) and a Sunday matinee against McNeese State (3-9) at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators start the weekend with a game against the Cardinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. Then they’ll face Louisville and McNeese State back to back in a doubleheader Sunday, starting at 10 a.m.
Florida hosted UNF on Thursday and swung their way to an 8-0 mercy-rule victory. Charla Echols provided the walk-off single in the bottom of the fifth inning to force the mercy rule and end the game.
That's win number 9️⃣ for the Gators!
Check out all the highlights from tonight's shutout win over UNF⤵ pic.twitter.com/7XV289gZ38
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) February 26, 2021
Echols took the glory with her RBI single to end the game against the Ospreys, but there were several other hot bats for the Gators. Kendyl Lindaman continued to slug the ball, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI and extending her hit streak to five games.
Lindaman, Echols, Hannah Adams, Cheyenne Lindsey and Julia Cottrill all contributed multi-hit ballgames.
Possibly equally as impressive, though, was the performance the Gators turned in inside the circle. Natalie Lugo and Rylee Trlicek combined for a two-hit shutout in the victory. Florida’s pitching staff boasts a combined 0.86 ERA.
Let The Good Times Roll
When two players on the same team earn SEC Pitcher of the Week and SEC Player of the Week, it usually means that team is pretty well balanced. Gators ace Katie Chronister earned pitching honors after not allowing a run over the course of three wins.
Echols slugged her way to player of the week honors after starting her season 6-for-6.
If the Gators continue to combine power-hitting with efficient pitching, as they have been doing, there’s no reason to suspect their winning ways should end this weekend. But, these two teams do offer a chance at upsetting the number 6 team in the country.
Louisville has gotten off to a slow start to the season, sitting at 3-4 to start, but two of those losses came to the No. 8 Crimson Tide in their first two games of the season.
Recently, the Cardinals have found their stride a bit, rattling off three straight wins against NC State and Virginia. They capped off their 3-game win streak in the ACC Pod Weekend with a one-hit shutout against the Cavaliers.
The Cardinals won 4-0, and redshirt junior Taylor Roby threw a full seven innings, giving up only one hit and no earned runs while striking out three. If that wasn’t enough, Roby was named the ACC Player of the Week on Tuesday after hitting .438 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. So, look for her to damage on the mound and with the bat.
Gotta love great pitchers that can also hit! https://t.co/XwEAdd9w8u
— Holly Aprile (@UofL_CoachHolly) February 23, 2021
Head coach Holly Aprile and her team will hope to keep the momentum rolling with success against a top-ten team in Gainesville.
McNeese State has suffered nine losses through 12 games to start the 2021 campaign, but it’s been in large part due to a tough out-of-conference schedule.
Out of the 10 teams, the Cowboys have played, seven of them have been ranked in the top 25. They managed to hang tough with No. 23 Baylor and No. 7 UL-Lafayette, forcing extra innings in both games but eventually losing both. Their consolation was a 7-4 win over No. 20 Arkansas on Saturday.
So, while the Cowboys don’t have an impressive record to this point, they have no shortage of experiences playing in big moments against great teams, so don’t expect them to back down from the Gators this weekend.