No. 5 Gators clinch softball series over No. 13 LSU
No. 5 Florida clinched the softball series over No. 13 LSU with a 7-4 win Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Hannah Adams posted a career-high four hits, while Jaimie Hoover and Kendyl Lindaman launched a pair of two-run home runs to seal the win.
The Gators (23-3, 7-1 SEC) cranked out 12 hits and kept the pressure on the Tigers (18-10, 4-4) the entire game.
Florida used that pressure to capitalize early and often to start the game. Adams set that tempo from the beginning as she started the game with a single and was quickly driven home via Lindaman's fifth home run of the season off LSU starting pitcher Ali Kilponen (5-4).
Kilponen issued Charla Echols a walk in the next at-bat and managed to force a pair of groundouts in an attempt to escape the inning, but Hoover took a 3-1 pitch that was low and away opposite field for just her second home run of the season.
The pair of two-run home runs by Lindaman and Hoover in the first inning gave the Gators an early 4-0 lead and a cushion for left-handed starting pitcher Katie Chronister (6-1).
Chronister worked through the Tigers lineup in order for the first two innings of play and didn't give up her first hit until third inning with two outs.
Meanwhile the Gators were able to tack on one run in both the second and third innings to take 5-0 lead. Echols produced an RBI infield single to third that scored Sarah Longley in the 2nd and a Adams drove home Hoover with her RBI single up the middle in the 3rd.
LSU finally connected against Chronister in the 4th inning of play and rallied to close down the Florida lead to 6-4 via four runs on five hits. Natalie Lugo entered the circle with one out in the inning and held the Tigers bats in check as she scattered three hits over the final 3.2 innings for her third save of the season.
Florida tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the 5th after the LSU rally via a Julia Cottrill RBI double that scored Adams easily and nearly plated the speedy Katie Kistler, but a good 7-6-2 relay to home plate just made it time to catch Kistler's outstretched arm.
The Gators and the Tigers will wrap up the series Sunday at 11 a.m. on the SEC Network +.