Oakland redshirt senior Madison Jones opened up scoring for her team in a big way against No. 4 Florida Saturday night.
On a powerful swing, she air-mailed the ball past the Florida outfielders before charging around the diamond to home.
A stunning way to open any ball game with a home run on her first play of the night, yet this would be the only scoring play for Oakland the entire game.
Despite the early offensive aggression from the Golden Grizzlies (2-1), Florida (14-0) was able to seize control and hold Oakland scoreless the rest of the game to capture their 14th win of the year, 6-1.
Following Jones’ opening bomb, Florida senior Charla Echols singled up the middle to bring home junior Skylar Wallace and fifth-year veteran Hannah Adams, placing Florida in control up 2-1.
The remaining innings were highlighted by impressive and decisive pitching from Florida’s fifth-year pitcher Natalie Lugo and Oakland sophomore Sydney Campbell. In the second inning, both right-handed pitchers refused to surrender a run or hit.
Another single from Wallace would be one of the few successful offensive plays from either team in the third, yet the frame still finished a zero in the run column.
It looked to be a tight ball game down the stretch until Florida came alive at the bottom of the fifth. Adams continued her stellar scoring performance from earlier in the match, as she produced a double play which led to freshman Kendra Falby and sophomore Katie Kistler scoring one run apiece.
Uncharacteristically, Campbell struggled to keep Florida off the scoreboard. Adams completed the inning stealing third base and scoring another run in the ball game.
A line drive to right-center field from sophomore Avery Goelz advanced base runner Cheyenne Lindsey to third and pushed freshman Reagan Walsh home for Florida. The Gators increased their lead, 6-1, and stomped out any chance for the Golden Grizzlies to make a comeback.
Oakland came into Saturday night fresh, following two wins in a Friday doubleheader against James Madison and DePaul. The Golden Grizzlies captured a 4-3 win against James Madison and survived another close battle against DePaul 1-0.
Florida looks to close out the Knights Classic undefeated with a doubleheader Sunday starting at 1 p.m. against James Madison. The Gators will challenge the hosting UCF Knights to conclude the weekend at 4 p.m.
The Gators and Knights’ ball game will stream live on ESPN+.
Contact Brenda Bogle at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @bogle_brenda.
Brenda Bogle is a UF journalism senior with a specialization in sports and media. She joined The Alligator in the Fall of 2021.