No. 5 Florida falls at No. 16 Florida State

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TALLAHASEE – No. 16 Florida State got some revenge Saturday against No. 5 Florida with a 7-2 win to knock its rival from the softball unbeaten ranks.

Florida State (11-4) was able to even the 2021 series with the Gators (14-1) and the teams split the two-game set every year dating back to 2017. Florida downed FSU 5-0 Friday in Gainesville.

The scoring opened in the second inning when the Seminoles were able to end a 10-inning scoring drought against the Gators, which dated back to the fifth inning of the lone 2020 meeting, with five runs on four hits. FSU was able to score on a wild pitch, a fielder’s choice bunt and a two-RBI double before Natalie Lugo relieved left-handed starter Katie Chronister (5-1) in the circle.

Lugo was able to induce a groundout and a strikeout for the first two outs, but FSU was eventually able to strike for an additional run on a double to center field. Cheyenne Lindsey went back to the wall in what would have been an amazing play to make the grab and end the inning, but a collision with the wall forced the ball to pop out of the glove and to the ground.

Later on in the fourth, the Gators, who fell to 28-18 all-time against the Seminoles and 13-10 when playing at JoAnne Graf Field, rallied to close down the Seminoles lead to 5-2. The frame started with back-to-back singles as Kendyl Lindaman laced a leadoff single to right field, which was then followed by a base hit by Charla Echols.

With no outs, freshman Emily Wilkie put the Florida on the board with a sharply hit double in the left center field gap to score pinch-runner Katie Kistler. Jaimie Hoover loaded the bases later on an error.

That provided a SAC fly opportunity for Sarah Longley, as she plated Echols on a flyout in foul territory down the right field line.

In the fifth, Florida State was able to plate a pair of unearned runs and pushed their lead out to 7-2 after an uncharacteristic dropped foul out in left field extended the inning.

The Gators poised themselves for a rally in the final frame as pinch-hitter Jordan Matthews led off the inning with a single just inside the third base bag. Hoover reentered the game during Longley’s at-bat and was able to race to third only Longley’s cue shot out to shortstop that buckled the legs of Josie Muffley and forced her to make an errant throw from the knees to first.

Seminoles right-hander Kathryn Sandercock (5-1) however was able to work out of the jam to put an end to the contest with a strikeout, a groundout and a lineout.

Next up for the Gators is a Wednesday game at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium against Kennesaw State at 6 p.m.

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