Jim Burgess / UAA Communications

Gators sweep Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

It wasn’t pretty but the No. 1 Florida Gators got the job done by sweeping all five games in the California tournament.

Thursday saw the Gators beat UCLA 2-1 and NC State 5-2.

Dominant pitching from Delanie Gourley and Aleshia Ocasio helped the Gators capture a top-10 win over UCLA.

Tim Casey / UAA Communications
 "I thought Delanie [Gourley] pitched well. She made some really, really good pitches when she had to,” said Florida head coach Tim Walton. “Defensively we made some really nice plays behind her and really picked her up, but I thought she picked us up too. I thought she did a really good job against a very good hitting team. UCLA had seven hits and one beautiful bunt, but to limit them and hold them to just one run was very, very impressive."

Kelly Barnhill’s 14 strikeouts provided the Gators with enough of a lead to outlast the NC State.

Friday’s wins were more impressive as the Gators beat a national-title contender in Washington 3-1 and beat Nebraska in five innings 8-0 due to a mercy rule.

Offensively, Janell Wheaton (two home runs) was a catalyst for the Florida bats in both games.

Jim Burgess / UAA Communications
 "Janell [Wheaton] had a really good day, a clutch day,” Walton said. “I thought she did a good job of learning from her at bats. She had a bad at bat her first time up against Washington, but she didn't sulk and came up and got a better pitch in her next at bat. Overall, I thought her approach to the game was great and her ability to deliver when we needed her to in both games was outstanding."

Saturday’s lone game against Utah looked like a flashback to Friday’s game against UCLA as the Gators had to grind out another one-run win.

Ocasio delivered another solid performance from the mound to help the Gators beat the Utes 1-0 and improve to 16-0 overall.

"If you would've told me that we were going to be 16-0 after our first three weekends of the season, I would've said that it's going to take outstanding pitching and great defense, which is exactly what we've gotten,” Walton said. “We've pitched really, really well and we've played great defense. Our hitting is starting to come around. We're starting to spray the ball a lot more up and down the lineup. I'm just really pleased that it's not just one hitter."

 


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