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No. 9 Gators softball outlasts No. 19 LSU for Walton’s 1,000th career victory

Lindsey’s late home run pushes Florida passed LSU
Members of the Florida softball team embrace head coach Tim Walton after defeating LSU in extra...
Members of the Florida softball team embrace head coach Tim Walton after defeating LSU in extra innings.(ESPN)
Published: May. 1, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WCJB) - An extra inning’s nail biter probably wasn’t how Florida softball head coach Tim Walton thought he’d record his 1,000th career victory in the sport, but you know what they say ‘a win is a win.’

Thanks to Cheyenne Lindsey’s second, solo home run of the weekend, the Gators (38-13) edged the Tigers (32-19) 2-1 in nine innings to claim their final Southeastern Conference series of the season.

The orange and blue drew first blood in the top fo the second, when Kendra Falby hit a low line drive into left field and the Tigers’ Ali Newland made a diving catch to save a hit, but when she got to her feet to attempt a throw home to try and throw out Katie Kistler, who was tagging up from third, Newland lost possession of the ball and Kistler ran across the plate to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.

Elizabeth Hightower started in the circle for Florida and didn’t surrender a run until the bottom of the 4th. With Raeleen Gutierrez standing on second, Shelbi Suneri poked Hightower’s low, outside pitch through the right side which allowed Gutierrez to touch home and tie the game up, 1-1.

Neither team could muster any scoring through the next four innings, so it came down to Lindsey in the top of the 9th. The senior from Chattanooga, TN was 0-4 to that point in the game with four strikeouts. However, even though she was behind in the count 0-2, and staring at her fifth strikeout of the game, Lindsey swung and connected on a belt high pitch that left the field of play in a hurry.

The ball sailed over the right field fence for a solo home run. It was her second straight game with long ball and first time all season she recorded two or more home runs in a series.

Natalie Lugo closed out the contest and secured Florida the series clinching victory.

The Gators play again on Wednesday, May 4 against arch rival FSU in Tallahassee at 6 p.m.

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