A special report from the UAA on the Florida Gators softball team:
COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 3 Florida claimed its seventh Southeastern Conference series of the season with a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon over No. 15 Missouri at the Mizzou Softball Stadium. UF has won all seven of its SEC series this season.
The Gators (37-8, 16-5 SEC) prevailed thanks to a heroic three-run home run from USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist Hannah Adams and gutsy relief appearance from Katie Chronister (7-2) in the circle.
Missouri (35-13, 13-8 SEC) took the initial lead in the bottom of the 1st inning via a Hatti Moore RBI double to left field that scored Brooke Wilmes and tacked on one more in 3rd inning on a solo home run Jenna Laird that put the Tigers ahead 2-0.
Elizabeth Hightower returned to the circle in the 4th inning as she held the potent Tigers offense in check. However, the Gators opted to go to the bullpen and brought in Chronister with two runners on and two outs to face Wilmes.
Chronister induced a groundout to Adams at second to end the threat and went on to not allow another hit to the SEC’s leading offense. In fact, Chronister didn’t give up a hit to Missouri in her relief appearance Friday night to earn her sixth save of the year.
Florida’s offense caused a stir in the top of the 6th inning and forced Missouri’s starter Jordan Weber to leave the game after Kendyl Lindaman broke up her no-hit bid with a line drive to left field and Julia Cottrill singled off Weber’s glove with one out.
The Tigers brought in Laurin Krings (8-3), who threw a complete-game yesterday, and she managed to work out of the jam with no damage done.
However, the Gators remained persistent at the plate in the top of the 7th inning. Sarah Longley produced a one-out double to right center field to start the rally and pinch-hitter Baylee Goddard was hit by the first pitch offered during her at-bat to put the tying run on base for Adams.
Adams notched her second home run of the series to give Florida the 3-2 lead when she lifted the 3-2 offering from Krings over the left center field wall.
From there Chronister closed out the game as she worked around two Missouri batters with full-count walks, but forced a groundout to Echols to end the game.
The Gators return to action with their last SEC series of the regular season this upcoming Friday through Sunday against Texas A&M at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.