Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 5 Florida used a 7thinning offensive explosion to run away with a 10-0 victory over Mississippi State Saturday afternoon at Nusz Park. UF pounded out 10 total hits and capitalized on five MSU errors en route to the win.
The Gators (20-2, 4-1 SEC) plated nine runs on seven hits in the final frame of the game to secure the series over the Bulldogs (15-10, 0-5 SEC). The inning was highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Hannah Adams (1-for-4) and Kendyl Lindaman (2-for-4).
Florida opened the scoring in the top of the 1stinning of play when Adams was hit by the 1-0 pitch and Lindaman reached on an error by Montana Davidson at third. With two outs, Avery Goelz (2-for-4) ripped a two-out RBI single to left field that scored Adams from second base and gave UF an early 1-0 lead.
In the circle, Natalie Lugo (5-1) hurled 5.0 innings and kept the Bulldogs offense off balance as she only surrendered on three hits. Elizabeth Hightower earned her third save of the season when she entered the game with a 1-0 lead, a runner on first, and inherited a 3-0 count to Fa Leilua, who eventually reached on a full-count walk.
Hightower relied on her defense as she induced Carter Spexarth to hit into a 5-4 double play and fielded a groundout back to the circle to end the inning and preserve the shutout.
The scoring frenzy started immediately in the 7thinning when Lindaman belted a single to left field and Charla Echols (2-for-5) reached when the ball popped out of a glove during a collision by Montana Davidson and Madisyn Kennedy behind the bag at third base.
Jaimie Hoover (1-for-3) extended the lead out to 3-0 with a squeeze bunt that scored Echols and Bryn Thomas opened the game up when she lifted a ball to left field that scored Goelz and Cottrill. The Bulldogs forced a throw to second to try and eliminate Hoover, but it went wide which allowed Hoover and Thomas to advance to second and third.
Cheyenne Lindsey (2-for-4) scored Thomas and Hoover with a shot to right field and Adams followed up with a monster two-run home run to right field which gave the Gators a 9-0 lead. Lindaman put the exclamation point on the victory when she launched the 2-0 offering over the left field wall.
Bulldogs starting pitcher Alyssa Loza (1-3) was charged with the loss after lasting 2.2 innings.