At the beginning of Saturday night’s broadcast, the commentators relayed coach Mickey Dean’s message to his team after it lost Game 1 of its SEC debut. The Tigers would have to have “sports amnesia” to tie their series with the Gators.
They’d have to forget about the six blown advancement opportunities and three runners left on base that, at the very least, could’ve lessened the blow left by Florida’s six unanswered runs.
While Auburn was unable to jot this game down in the win column, forcing the No. 7 Gators to extra innings indicated it was able to do so.
Florida (19-4, 2-0) defeated the Tigers (14-10, 0-2) in 11 innings at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium after a walk-off single from senior Hannah Adams.
Sophomore Samantha Yarbrough started in the circle for the Tigers Saturday night. She was the only pitcher on Auburn’s staff that didn’t see any playing time in Game 1. While her teammates allowed seven hits for six runs in the first installment of the series, Yarbrough only let one squeak by in her first SEC start since transferring to Auburn from South Alabama.
The reigning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week threw a season-high eight strikeouts in 10 innings of work. She tossed a total of 174 pitches — 116 were strikes.
Junior Natalie Lugo had a career day as well. In 9.1 innings of work, she allowed only one run on 36 at-bats and notched nine strikeouts — including one clutch K in the top of the eighth to send the Tigers’ lineup back to the dugout.
The first run of the night came for the Tigers in the top of the third. An RBI single from senior Brittany Maresette drove junior Jadia Jones home.
Florida’s bats caught more Zs than ball contact after registering seven hits for six runs the night before. It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth that the Gators tied it up, 1-1. Sophomore Cheyenne Lindsey punched an RBI single up the middle to send pinch runner E.C. Taylor across home plate. Lindsey reacted with a couple of fist pumps and a grin from ear-to-ear.
With one out on the board in the top of the 10th, senior Katie Chornister stepped into the circle for the Gators. After hitting the first batter at the plate, Chronister produced two quick outs for the orange and blue to reign in the bottom of the inning. She had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.
In the bottom of the 11th, freshman KK Dismukes took over the circle for Yarbrough. Two errors in the inning allowed the Gators to load the bases. Adams hit her third walk-off of the season with an RBI single to left field. Lindsey capped off her night with the game-winning run.
Although it finally managed to make something happen in the bottom of the 11th, Florida left 11 runners on base Saturday night. So, what ended up being a one-run game after 11 innings could’ve been wrapped up much earlier had they been able to capitalize on any one of those.
The Gators will take the diamond once again aiming to sweep/clinch the Auburn series tomorrow at 3 p.m. in KSP.
You can contact Payton Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @petitus25.