Gators Softball
Hannah Adams swings at a pitch in the Softball team's 4-2 loss against FSU. Photo courtesy of Hannah White.

Softball Falls to FSU 4-2 in 10 Innings

The seventh-ranked Gators softball team (30-7) took two leads in the third and fifth inning of its in-state rivalry game against FSU. However, the Seminoles (36-2) responded when they needed to, and capitalized in the 10th inning to hand the Gators their second non-conference loss of the season.

Hightower Pitches Another Strong Outing

Elizabeth Hightower got a rare mid-week start against the Seminoles. Despite giving up two earned runs in her seven innings pitched, she wiggled out of jams when she needed to and struck out seven FSU batters to keep the Gators in the game.

In the top of the seventh, Hightower gave up a two-out double but was able to strike out Mack Leonard, one of FSU’s best hitters, to end the inning. Hightower showed emotion coming off the mound and she said she wanted to head back out for the eighth inning.

“I could’ve gone all night,” Hightower said. “But based on things I’ve been through this year, it was probably the smart move.”

Natalie Lugo would come on to relieve Hightower. She pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning but ran into trouble in the 10th.

Sydney Sherrill led off the inning with a solo home run to give the Seminoles a 3-2 lead. Later in the inning, a sacrifice fly gave FSU another insurance run, which is all it would need to outlast the Gators in extras.

Bats Go Quiet After Fifth

The Gators offense threatened in multiple innings but were unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position.

Hannah Adams got the Gators on the board in the bottom of the third inning, chopping a single up the middle and giving the Gators a 1-0 lead. However, in the top of the fourth, FSU would respond, knotting the game at 1-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Charla Echols came through, ripping a RBI single up the middle, giving the Gators a 2-1 lead. But the Seminoles responded once again, scoring in the top of the sixth on a Kalei Harding single to the shortstop, tying the game at 2-2.

The scoring would halt until the 10th inning, but the Gators had plenty of opportunities to take the lead. Twelve runners left on base for the Gators didn’t help the team’s cause, ultimately losing their its game of the season.

“The execution was good,” head coach Tim Walton said. “We had runners in scoring position with less than two outs quite a few times. To play good teams, to be a good team, to win big games, you’re going to have to get hits with runners in scoring position and we didn’t do that.”

Up Next

The Gators will face another tough test this weekend, hosting the fifth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (31-5) at home in a weekend series beginning Friday.

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