Florida failed to claw out of the depths after rival Florida State bolstered a 5-0 lead in the second inning.
The No. 5 Gators took their first defeat in a road game against No. 16 FSU 7-2 despite a 5-0 shutout in their first meeting.
Florida pitcher Katie Chronister, pigeon-holed by bases loaded with no outs, gave up five runs on four hits in the second inning. FSU decorated the field with three doubles and a single. Natalie Lugo relieved Chronister after FSU’s fifth trip across home.
Lugo and Chronister allowed four hits each and walked five batters total. Chronister’s second inning performance broke her 22-inning scoreless streak.
The Gator offense geared up to close the gap but couldn’t to reach the summit.
UF went three up, three down in the second, third, fifth and sixth inning. Seminole pitcher Kathryn Sandercock retired seven Gators in a row through the first three innings.
First baseman Kendyl Lindaman broke Sandercock’s streak. The fifth-year senior rocked a single to right center in the top of fourth.
Freshman Emily Wilkie stepped up and ripped an RBI double through the left side to score third baseman Charla Echols. Three batters later, a shortstop Sarah Longley sacrifice-fly RBI put up Florida’s second run.
The Seminole lead shortened to three and the Gators’ prospect of tying re-emerged.
At the top of the fifth, hope dwindled. Sandercock retired the Gators to stifle momentum.
A Jaimie Hoover dropped foul ball in the sixth inning set up the Seminoles to re-establish their five-run lead. Kiersten Landers pushed a single through the right side, sandwiched between two Lugo walks. A Josie Muffley single tacked on two more runs.
Florida’s offense maintained its mild performance in the seventh and cemented FSU’s victory.
The Gators return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to host Kennesaw State Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Monday matchup against South Dakota was cancelled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols within South Dakota’s program.
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