Senior Kendyl Lindaman eagerly awaited her perfect pitch. She loaded up on a 3-1 count, roped a homerun over center field and extended Florida’s lead to two.
Four batters later, left fielder Jaimie Hoover smacked a two-run homer of her own and doubled the lead.
The duo set the tone for the Gator offense, and No. 5 Florida secured the series against No. 13 LSU after a 7-4 triumph in game two Saturday.
As the sun descended over Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, tensions only rose among the 772 spectators in attendance. Opposing fans barked at each other, the umpire and anything else they could disagree with.
LSU pitcher Shelby Wilkersham overcame a no out, bases loaded situation and held the Gators to one run with a pair of strikeouts. Florida tacked on one more in the third from a Hannah Adams RBI single.
LSU saw little success through the first three innings, but found a groove in the fourth. The Tigers put down four hits and three runs before senior Natalie Lugo relieved Katie Chronister. They added another before Adams snagged Denieca Coffey’s attempt for out three.
Wilkersham held UF scoreless in the bottom of the fifth to quickly send the Tiger offense back to work. Lugo and the Gator defense followed suit to maintain their two-point lead.
Julia Cottrill beamed an RBI single to the left field corner in the fifth to shift Florida’s lead to three, where it would finish.
To head coach Tim Walton, hitting tends to be all or nothing among the Gator offense.
“Tonight we were hitting. Everybody was swinging the bat well,” Walton said.
Florida collected 12 hits off three LSU pitchers and left 10 stranded. The number doesn’t bother him if it means his players are being aggressive, Walton said.
Walton cited clutch plays by Adams, Cottrill, Lindaman and Hoover in the win against LSU.
Adams’ exceptional performance included a .477 batting average to improve her season average to .451 and extended her career-long hit streak to 11 games. Defensively, she put up a perfect fielding percentage with two catches, a put out and an assist – what softball fans could call a “triple-triple.”
“She is by far one of the best players on this team and in the country,” Walton said. “I am overall very pleased with her consistency.”
Florida looks to sweep LSU Sunday, with first pitch at 11 a.m. The game will broadcast on SEC Network+.
Contact Rachel Slay at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @racheljslay