Gators top Aggies to extend perfect record

Florida’s four-run first inning was too much for New Mexico State to overcome
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 9:35 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Jamie Hoover’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first gave the Gators pitching staff all it would need to help defeat the Aggies 6-2 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Wednesday night.

No. 5 ranked Florida (13-0) continued its unbeaten start to the 2021 season thanks to a four-run first inning. After Hannah Adams singled to lead off the inning, and Kendall Lindaman worked a free pass to first, catcher Julia Cottrill doubled to left center to bring home Adams for the games first run.

Two batters later, Jamie Hoover drilled a 1-0 pitch high and hard out to right center, and despite the wind blowing in, it carried all the way over the fence for a bases-clearing three-run home run to make it 4-0, Florida.

In the top of the second, the Aggies answered back with a run of their own. Maya Martinez smacked a double to left field to plate Jayleen Burton to cut the orange and blue’s lead to 4-1.

But that would be the final run either team would score for the next three-and-a-half innings.

Riley Trlicek started in the circle for Florida, but only lasted two innings. She allowed one run on four hits on her short stint before being pulled for Elizabeth Hightower in the top of the third.

Hightower came in with runners on first and second with nobody out. However, she was able to subdue the next three batters, including strikeout the final batter to escape the inning unscathed. In total, she pitched four full innings and only surrendered one run while recording five strikeouts.

The last pair of runs for Florida came in the bottom of the sixth.

Pinch hitter Katie Kistler drew a leadoff walk, then stole second, and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Wilkie. The next batter, Cheyenne Lindsey, flew out to center, but the throw home was too late to tag out the speed Kistler. The fifth run of the game for the Gators drew the bundled up fans in attendance to their feet. But they wouldn’t sit down for long.

In the next at-bat, Adams hammered a ball well out to right field that easily carried the fence to score Florida’s final run.

Hightower gave up a solo home run to begin the top of the seventh, which brought in Natalie Lugo. Lugo induced two groundouts and struck out Ramsay Lopez to end the game.

Florida now sets its sights on a two-game series with in-state rival Florida State beginning Friday, March 5.

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