Hannah Adams rounds second base in the Gators' exhibition game against Softball Canada. Photo courtesy Hannah White.

Gators Softball Drops Game 1 to Auburn

The Florida Gators (28-6, 5-5) fell to the Auburn Tigers (29-4, 7-3) in game one of the series on Friday, losing 1-3. They will have a chance to even the series Saturday at 3 p.m.

Gators Could Not Bring Home the Runs

At the plate, Florida struggled to bring home runs when they needed them most. Over the seven innings, they left eight batters on base. Furthermore, when looking at the total hits in the game they were even with Auburn with six.

The Gators were silent over the first five innings of this game. They did not tally any runs up until the sixth inning. However, they did have chances early. In the second inning, they had runners on first and second with two outs, but could not get a hit to bring home the runner. They did finally score in the sixth inning. In the sixth, Florida had runners on second and third with no outs when Cheyenne Lindsey hit a sacrifice fly to bring in a run, but that was the only run scored in the inning. Additionally, this would be their only run of the game.

Though, they had a chance to tie the game up in the ninth. With bases loaded and only one out for Hannah Adams, she had a big opportunity to tie the game and send it, potentially, to extra innings. Unfortunately for Adams, she went down on strikes. Although, she was not the only one with a chance to tie it as Charla Echols came to the plate with the possibility of being a hero for the Gators. However, Echols suffered the same fate as Adams by striking out, which ended the game. In total, the Florida batters struck out nine times and only earned two walks in this game.

So, when looking at this game overall, Auburn used great situational hitting to get past Florida and take game one of the series.

Hightower Goes the Distance, but Cannot get the Win for the Gators

Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle for Florida on Friday. She began her outing with little danger, making it through the first two innings without allowing any runs and only having one Tiger batter reach base. The same could not be said about the third. In this inning, Hightower allowed the first three batters to reach, which loaded the bases with no outs. In spite of that, she would not allow a run. She struck out the next two and got the final out on a pop-out in foul territory.

Luck would not strike again for Hightower in the fourth inning. After getting the first out of the inning, she walked the next batter. The batter after that for the Tigers followed with a homerun to left-center field giving them the 2-0 lead over the Gators. Hightower got out of the inning, but in the next one she would give up another run via a homerun again. With this homerun, Florida saw themselves trailing 0-3 heading into the sixth. Hightower got through the inning with ease, but it would be the last of the game for her as Florida did not scrape up enough runs to get to the bottom of the seventh.

While Hightower struck out nine total batters, she just could not keep the earned runs down enough to give the Gators a win. Her final stat line would be six innings pitched with nine strikeouts, six hits, two walks and three earned runs. She went the complete game, but, ultimately, it was not enough for the Gators.

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