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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Florida dominates at the plate, swept competition for the second day in a row

A decisive win in back-to-back shutouts for the Gators

<p>Kendyl Lindaman had three hits and 2 RBI total Sunday.</p>

Kendyl Lindaman had three hits and 2 RBI total Sunday.

Florida completed its third and fourth shutout victories in the final day of the Bubly Invitational. The Gators took a 4-0 win over Charlotte and mercy ruled Georgia Southern 11-0.

Florida v. Charlotte

Led by stand-out pitcher Katie Chronister, the Gators shutout the Charlotte 49ers in their last meeting of Bubly Invitational. The Gators accumulated a 4-0 lead by the end of the fourth inning and rode it until their win. 

Chronister allowed three hits through seven innings. After today’s shutout, Chronister is cruising with a 19.1 scoreless inning streak. 

Head coach Tim Walton credited the pitcher’s success to her increased velocity and general improvement in health. 

Emily Wilkie’s double to the corner of left field in the bottom of the second began Florida’s commanding presence at the plate. 

Jordan Matthews swam in twos: she clocked two doubles and two RBIs in her two at bats. After Wilkie’s double in the second inning, Matthews sent her home with a double of her own. Her second RBI came in the fourth inning when left fielder Jaimie Hoover executed a stealthy slide on a close play. 

Not to be out done, center fielder Cheyenne Lindsey nailed a double and an RBI of her own and snuck a ball down the first base line. Second baseman Hannah Adams’s successful squeeze play opened up Florida’s lead to 4-0. 

Charlotte struggled to establish offensive momentum from start to finish. 

There were slivers of hope sprinkled on the second and third inning, when the 49ers earned two of their three total hits. Shortstop Cori Henderson shot a double out to left field with one out in the sixth, but a questionable call to send Henderson home from third on an infield grounder shut things down. 

After Florida’s dominant fourth inning performance, Charlotte couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole. 

Florida tacked on two more Wilkie and Hoover hits in the fifth inning. Chronister took the 49ers three up, three down to give the Gators their seventh win of the season. 

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Florida v. Georgia Southern

In stark contrast to their last 2-1 victory, the Gators demolished the Georgia Southern Eagles 11-0. 

Florida pitcher Elizabeth Hightower was near perfect on the day. She took the Eagles three up, three down through the first four innings and allowed one hit in the fifth.

The Gators, however, wasted no time getting on base. 

With three doubles and three RBIs, Lindsey was spectacular in the box. 

The entirety of Florida’s line up went to the plate in the first inning and racked up six hits, five runs and forced senior Rylee Waldrep into a pitching change with sophomore Kyleigh Richardson. 

The Gators capitalized on a hole in right center, nailing it almost three times consecutively: an Adams double, a Julia Cottrill single and an Avery Goelz double. 

Hoover then found some green behind third base for an RBI single. Kinsey Goelz followed in identical fashion for a single of her own. Finally, Lindsey cranked out an RBI double to establish the Gator lead at 5-0. 

That lead was stretched to 7-0 in the third. Echols, who had been quiet thus far, sent a dinger to right center and scored Lindsey and Adams in a stand-up double. 

Florida turned up the heat and crossed home four more times in the fourth. 

Lindsey smoked her third double of the game and allowed Hoover and Goelz to score. Lindaman answered with a missile down the third baseline for the two final RBI. 

“We always like to start the season off strong,” Lindsey said. “It feels good to get in there and handle business.” 

An ideal line up is made up of players who don’t have the same strengths and don’t have the same weaknesses, Walton said. 

“I think we’re talented enough,” Walton said. “I think we have enough pieces to be a good team. To be a great team, it’s going to come down to toughness and cohesion.”

Florida now holds an 8-0 record. The Gators will travel to Jacksonville to face UNF Thursday.

Contact Rachel Slay at rslay@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @racheljslay

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