GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No. 6-ranked Florida shut out No. 9 UL Lafayette, 6-0, in the first game of a three-game series Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (17-2) played great defense, produced timely hits and received solid pitching performances from Natalie Lugo and Katie Chronister (1-0) for the definitive win over the Ragin' Cajuns (12-5). Lugo hurled 3.1 innings and allowed three hits in her ninth start of the season, while Chronister effectively pitched the final 3.2 innings for her first win of the season.
Florida's defense turned its first double play of the evening in the top of the 2nd inning. With runners on first and second with no outs, Cheyenne Lindsey streaked from her position in left field to snag a line drive off the bat of Melissa Mayeux and fired it to Hannah Adams at second to double up Sarah Hudek at second base.
With Ragin' Cajun runners on the corners and one out in the 4th inning, UF turned its second double play of the game when Charla Echols fielded a slow grounder at third and fired home to Julia Cottrill for the tag on Raina O'Neal. Cottrill made a heads up play and hurled the ball to Adams, who then snapped it to Reynoso to catch Taylor Roman in a pickle between second and third.
Adams turned the third double play of the game in the 5th inning when she scooped up the slow rolling grounder off the bat of Julie Rawls, made the tag on Bailey Curry going from first to second, spun 360-degrees and whipped it over to Lindaman at first in time to end the inning.
However, the defensive highlights were not over as Lindsey showed off her arm in left field to preserve the shutout. With a runner on second and two outs, Lindsey fielded a shot through the left side of the infield and mowed down Mayeux at home to end the 6th inning.
Offensively, Lindaman (2-for-3) and Echols (3-for-4) combined for five the Gators nine hits, while Adams, Roberts, Cottrill and Reynoso chipped in a hit a piece.
Florida returns for the second game of the series against No. 9 UL Lafayette Saturday at 1 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.