Jim Burgess / UAA Communications

#1 Gators sweep LSU behind stellar pitching

Florida went into Baton Rouge with hopes of at least winning the series over No. 7 LSU and came out with a series sweep over the Tigers.

Aleshia Ocasio pitched seven scoreless innings as the Gators took the first game of Friday’s doubleheader by a score of 3-0.

Florida’s impressive pitching continued in Friday’s second game. Delanie Gourley pitched six and one-third scoreless innings, but the offense could not get going as the game went into extra innings.

Nicole DeWitt put an end to the shutout with her three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. Ocasio pitched two and two-thirds innings and picked up her second win of the day as the Gators took the second game 3-0.

“I thought Delanie [Gourley] did what she had to do, as she was able to make a pitch every time she needed to,” Gators head coach Tim Walton said after Friday’s games. “Additionally, Delanie had a couple of well-timed strikeouts and we were able to use our defense well enough to get a pair of wins tonight. The double play we turned in the seventh inning of the second game was as big of a moment as you have in a game. Overall, I thought both Aleshia [Ocasio] and Delanie both did a good job of making pitches when they had to.”

The Gators came into Saturday’s finale with Kelly Barnhill on the mound. Barnhill pitched the whole game except for the last out in the Gators’ 6-2 win.

Ocasio picked up her fourth save of the season.

Walton was impressed with his whole team’s effort and ability to sweep a top ten team on the road.

“Our pitching and defense was the difference this weekend,” Walton said. “We made some hard defensive plays look really easy, including some great plays up the middle by Kelsey Stewart and Nicole DeWitt. However, to me more than anything we have to give the credit to our pitching staff. All three of them have done a phenomenal job of keeping us in every game.”

The Gators are now 33-1 and will face the Alabama Crimson Tide in Gainesville next weekend.

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