No. 6 Florida open SEC softball series with win over No. 9 Kentucky

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No. 6 Florida defeated No. 9 Kentucky, 3-1, to open Southeastern Conference softball play Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The Gators (16-1, 1-0 SEC) produced timely hitting to plate three runs and hand the Wildcats (19-1, 0-1 SEC) their first loss of the season.

Elizabeth Hightower (8-0) pitched a complete-game with seven strikeouts, while giving up just three hits and one walk.

Hannah Adams (2-for-3), Charla Echols (2-for-3) and Kendyl Lindaman (1-for-2) had a hand in all three of the runs scored.

Kentucky broke onto the scoreboard in the fourth inning after Lauren Johnson started it with a double and scored following a single and a sacrifice fly.

The Gators responded immediately in the bottom of the frame with a flurry of hits from Adams, Echols and Lindaman, who sent a pitch to the top of the wall in left field to score Adams and Echols and give the Gators a 2-1 lead over the Wildcats.

The duo of Adams and Echols struck again in the bottom of the sixth to increase the Gators lead to 3-1. Adams singled and Echols drove her home when she laced a low line-drive that dipped sharply under the outfielder's glove in center field.

The Gators and the Wildcats play game two starting at 1 p.m. Saturday on the SEC Network+.

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