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Thursday, February 02, 2023

Florida outplayed by Missouri for mercy rule defeat

The No. 3 Gators hit the ground hard in a 10-2 loss Saturday

<p>Natalie Lugo steps through and delivers a pitch against South Carolina on April 24th. Lugo delivered six scoreless innings of relief in Florida&#x27;s 7-1 victory over Oregon State Thursday.</p>

Natalie Lugo steps through and delivers a pitch against South Carolina on April 24th. Lugo delivered six scoreless innings of relief in Florida's 7-1 victory over Oregon State Thursday.

Leadoff hitter Hannah Adams whirled the bat through the air as she took her stance on home plate. Sitting with a full count of three balls and two strikes, the senior hammered the pitch by Laurin Krings.

The ball skyrocketed over the fence to give the Gators a 1-0 lead — the peak of their Saturday performance.

The Gators softball team lost their edge against Missouri in a 10-2 mercy rule loss Saturday. 

The sour loss followed a 5-2 Florida win Friday and made Sunday’s matchup a winner-take-all battle.

The defense committed error after error, and the odds quickly shifted out of Florida’s favor.

In the bottom of the second inning, Sarah Longley nosedived behind second base only to miss the catch, and Charla Echols followed up with a dropped ball to third base a play later. Missouri’s Kendyll Bailey reached third base and ran home a play later. Florida sat down two runs. 

Missouri took their fifth run when catcher Julia Cottrril’s throw bridged under the legs of Avery Goelz at first base in the third inning.

A Tiger stole home in the bottom of the third after a bad throw from Cottrill sailed over the head of Echols.

The infield became a nightmare for the No. 3 Gators.

Luck came sporadically for the Gators, and catcher Cottrill became the only other player in orange and blue after Adams to drive in a run.

The sophomore notched a clean hit to center field in the top of the third inning and ran out a double, bringing Adams home to cut the deficit to two runs.

Adams made the crowd roar when she started the inning with a mean hit to the back wall for a single. The senior has now reached base safely in a whopping 28 consecutive games.

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The Tigers came hungry after Friday’s game, and Florida looked like a deer in headlights.

Head coach Tim Walton rotated players atop the pitcher’s mound, as three pitchers offered their services in the circle. 

Rylee Trlicek swapped in for starter Natalie Lugo after runners loaded the bases for Missouri in the second inning. Both pitchers surrendered a rough six hits to the 15th-ranked Tigers.

Freshman Haley Pittman replaced Trlicek in the bottom of the fourth after Missouri picked up its eighth run and gave two runs to the Tigers. The left-handed pitcher appeared on the mound once prior in a loss to the UCF Knights on April 14.

The Tigers’ offense took Florida on a rollercoaster and showed no mercy to the Gators.

Missouri shortstop Kendyll Bailey bullied the Gators to the tune of one run and three hits. 

Hatti Moore drove a ball out of the park to give the Tigers the final two runs needed for the mercy rule in the fifth inning.

The Gators look to avenge the loss and take the Missouri series Sunday at noon. 

Contact Faith Buckley at and follow her on Twitter @_faithbuckley

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Faith Buckley

Faith is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports media. She hopes to one day work as a play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League. 

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