Nine Run 7th Inning Propels Softball to Series Victory Over Mississippi State

When the sixth inning came to an end, the fifth-ranked Gators softball team looked to be in another close SEC matchup. Leading 1-0 starting the top of the 7th, the Gators offense was struggling, with their only run coming in the top of the first. However, a nine-run top of the 7th inning led the Gators to their second straight SEC series victory and a 10-0 win over the 15-10 (0-5 SEC) Mississippi State Bulldogs 10-0 Saturday afternoon.

Offense Comes Alive Late

Coming off a low-scoring affair Friday, the Gators looked to get their bats going in the second game of the series. The first inning was a good sign, as the Gators pushed across a run to strike first. Avery Goelz ripped a two-out rbi single to left field, scoring Hannah Adams to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.

But Bulldogs pitching would quiet the Gators bats. They kept the Gators off the scoreboard for the next five innings, allowing the Gators to hold the 1-0 heading into the final inning.

The first three Gators were able to reach base in the top of the seventh inning. A lead-off single from Kendyl Lindaman and both Charla Echols and Julia Cottrill reached base on errors, setting up the Gators with bases loaded and no outs. Avery Goelz then walked, scoring Lindaman and giving the Gators a 2-0 lead.

After Jordan Matthews lined out to second base, Jaimie Hoover reached on a bunt single, scoring Echols from third. Bryn Thomas came into pinch-hit, reaching on a fielder’s choice. On the play, the Bulldogs were looking to get an out at third, but a throwing error allowed two runs to score for the Gators, and extend their lead to 5-0 with one out in the top of the seventh.

Cheyenne Lindsey came up to the plate next, ripping a two-rbi single to right field, scoring Hoover and Thomas. This extended the Gator lead to 7-0. The Gators looked as though they were pulling away, as Adams and Lindaman put the game away for sure on the next two at-bats.

Adams crushed a two-run home run to right field, putting the Gators up 9-0. On the next batter, Lindaman stepped to the plate and roped a solo home run to left field, putting the Gators into double digits at 10-0. This was all the Gators would need, pushing their record to 20-2 (4-1 SEC) with their win over the Bulldogs.

Gators Pitching Pitches Another Shutout

Natalie Lugo started in the circle for the Gators. Running into trouble in the bottom of the first, Lugo was able to get the Bulldogs to ground into a double play, to get out of a first and third jam. Lugo would keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for the next four innings, ending her day in the sixth inning. Her final stat line was five innings pitched, with four strikeouts, and only three hits allowed.

Elizabeth Hightower would come on in relief to finish off the Bulldogs in the final two innings. Despite giving up a hit, she would strike out three Bulldogs in her two innings of work to close out Mississippi State for the Gators’ second straight SEC series victory.

Up Next

The Gators will look to sweep the Bulldogs in the series finale, with the first pitch scheduled to be at 12 pm today.

About Bennett Solomon

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