Southeastern Conference Opening Weekend finally arrived and No. 7 Florida turned in a 6-0 victory over Auburn in the first game of the softball series Friday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (19-4) pounded out eight hits in the series opening win over the Tigers (14-9) and received a complete-game performance from the circle by freshman Rylee Trlicek (8-2). Trlicek’s complete-game shutout was her second of the season.
Florida broke the scoreless tied in the bottom of the third inning when senior Kendly Lindaman cranked an RBI single with a deep fly ball to the right field wall. Senior Jaimie Hoover led the inning off with a hit-by-pitch and advanced into scoring position after a wild pitch and eventually to third after a SAC bunt by fellow senior Sophia Reynoso.
With the bases loaded in the 4th inning, Reynoso extended the Gators lead with a sacrifice fly to deep center field which scored pinch-runner E.C. Taylor from third. Junior Hannah Adams followed up with an RBI single through the left side to score sophomore Cheyenne Lindsey.
Lindsey pushed two more runs across in the 5th frame with her second triple of the season. Down 0-2 in the count, Lindsey ripped relief pitcher Ashlee Swindle’s offering down the right field line to score freshmen Julia Cottrill and Baylee Goddard.
Earlier in the inning, Goddard and Cottrill drew walks and were advanced into scoring position on sophomore Hannah Sipos’ fourth SAC bunt of the season.
Trlicek finished the game three strikeouts, a walk and only three hits allowed on 87 pitches.
Florida and Auburn take the field for game two of the series Saturday at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network +.