Catcher Kendyl Lindaman looked at Texas A&M pitcher Hannah Mayo’s 3-2 pitch, which was the 14th of the at-bat. The umpire called it a ball, and Lindaman trotted to first.
The margin was as thin as a blade of grass for Texas A&M on May 26, 2018.
The bases-loaded walk allowed center fielder Alex Voss to score the Florida softball team’s seventh run of the first inning. It looked like Florida was in complete control.
But the walk turned out to be the game-winning run after the Aggies rallied for five runs in the bottom of the fourth and added another run in the sixth.
The Gators held on to win the first game of the series 8-6 Friday in College Station, Texas. The second game will start at 7 p.m., and UF will be looking to clinch its first road-series win of the season.
Aggies starter Kayla Poynter forced left fielder Jade Caraway to ground out to begin the game, but things snowballed from there.
She dished out back-to-back walks to first baseman Amanda Lorenz and Lindaman before hitting shortstop Sophia Reynoso with a pitch to load the bases. Jordan Roberts singled to right field to score the first run of the game.
Texas A&M (25-16, 3-10 SEC) had a chance to get out of the inning with a double play on a ground ball hit by second baseman Hannah Adams, but an error by second baseman Kayla Garcia kept everyone safe and allowed the Gators to double their lead.
Florida (34-9, 7-6 SEC) scored seven runs on five walks, three hits, one hit by pitch and an error in the first inning. Poynter didn’t even get out of the first frame, being replaced by Mayo after UF made the score 4-0 with one out.
After three-and-a-half innings, it appeared as if the Gators would coast to an easy blowout victory, especially with senior Kelly Barnhill in the circle.
But Barnhill and the Gators unraveled in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Aggies smacked three straight singles before Barnhill hit catcher Dani Elder with a pitch to make it 7-1. A single from designated player Haley Lee scored another run, and an error by Reynoso narrowed the lead to four.
Texas A&M rattled off two more singles to make it 7-5, but Barnhill finally got out of the inning after third baseman Baylee Klingler grounded out.
Florida extended the lead back to three in the top of the fifth. Freshman Hannah Sipos clobbered Mayo’s fifth pitch of the at-bat over the left-field fence for a home run, the first of her career.
The Aggies added another run in the sixth inning.
The Gators won the first game in both of their two previous conference road series but dropped the last two in both as well.
Follow Brendan Farrell on Twitter @Bfarrell727 and contact him at [email protected].