Tim Casey / UAA Communications

Softball Gators finish 5-game sweep of Classic

The University of Florida softball team defeated Jacksonville State, 10-0 (5 innings), on Sunday afternoon in Florida's final game of the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic. Senior Kelsey Stewart led the Gators with a home run, double two RBI and three runs scored in the game.

(SPECIAL TO FIGHTIN’ GATORS)

The long ball and pair of RBI were Stewart's first of the season.
In the circle, sophomore Aleshia Ocasio (4-0) threw the first four shutout innings for Florida before junior Delanie Gourley tossed a scoreless fifth. The duo combined for seven strikeouts, while walking only one Gamecock hitter.

UF began the scoring in the third inning when Stewart powered her 13th career home run over the right field fence. Florida tacked on two more runs in the frame on an Amanda Lorenz RBI double and a Janell Wheaton RBI single.

In the fourth, UF expanded its lead to 8-0 all with small ball. The Gators sent 10 hitters to the plate and notched five runs on four hits in the inning. McLean led off the fourth with bunt single and scored on the next play, a Stewart double into the left-center field gap. Sophomore Nicole DeWitt recorded her first RBI of the game as she singled in the speedy Stewart.

After a walk prompted a pitching change, Fuller reached on a base on balls against the new JSU pitcher, Casey Akenberger. With the bases now loaded, Wheaton took advantage and slapped a single into center field.

The hit scored two runs and UF never looked back. Florida added one more run in the fourth and two in the fifth to bring the game to its final score of 10-0.

JSU had multiple opportunities to score leaving seven runners stranded throughout the day, but had perhaps its best chance to score in the third inning when the Gamecocks loaded the bases with no one out.

Stephanie Lewis, Emily Woodruff and Ella Denes led off the third with three straight singles, putting Ocasio in a tough spot. The sophomore hung tough and recorded two strikeouts and a fly out to get out of the inning without any damage.

NEWS & NOTES

* UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 90-4.

* A season ago, UF had a plus-77 run differential (87-10) through 11 games.

* Florida's senior class is now 184-28 and trying to catch UF's 2011 class which boasted a 238-33 mark during their four years.

* Tim Walton is now just 14 wins away from his 700th win.

* Florida improved to 24-1 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2014 season.

* The Gators are ranked at or near the top in every major pitching category and Florida is by far the best defensive team with its .996 fielding percentage and just one error allowed through its first 11 games.

* Florida now has a streak of 60 innings without committing an error.

* With one inning thrown today, Delanie Gourley has tossed 22 consecutive scoreless innings, which is the second-longest streak of her career.

* Kelsey Stewart hit her first home run since May 7, 2015 against South Carolina.

* Rookie Amanda Lorenz paced the Gators at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic as she hit .615 (8 for 13) with two doubles, three RBI and six runs scored.

* Janell Wheaton was the only other Gator to hit .500 this weekend, as the sophomore was 5 for 10 with one home run, four RBI and four runs scored.

* In the circle, Delanie Gourley and Aleshia Ocasio went a combined 4-0 in 23.1 innings pitched with 36 strikeouts.

NEXT UP

Florida will travel to California for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, which begins Thursday when the top-ranked Gators meet UCLA and NC State in a doubleheader. UF will play five games total out in Palm Springs, Calif. and all of them will be broadcast on WGGG-AM & WMOP-AM/FM.


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