Jim Burgess / UAA Communications

Walk-off HR clinches Gators sweep of Mississippi State

The No. 1-ranked Florida Gator softball team (45-3) continued its domination this weekend at home with a three-game sweep of their SEC rival, the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

All three games, as wacky as they were, saw lots of interesting action and different Gator players step up in the clutch.

Florida routed MSU in the first game by a score of 16-0. The game only lasted five innings due to the mercy rule.

Obviously, the Gators’ offense was tremendous, but the headline of Friday was Delanie Gourley’s no-hitter. Gourley joined Hannah Rogers as the only Gators to throw three no-hitters in their collegiate career.

“It means a lot,” Gourley said Friday night. “It's hard to get a no-hitter in general, but let alone in the SEC. I wasn't even thinking about it. I just came out, did my stuff, my team played great, and that was it."

On Saturday, Mississippi State came out ready for revenge.

The Bulldogs were up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning, but the Gators found a spark and scored six runs.

Kirsti Merrit started the scoring off with a two-run double and Aubree Munro finished it with a grand slam.

Florida head coach Tim Walton wasn’t shocked when he saw Merrit and Munro deliver clutch hits.

“If you would have asked me who would’ve have had the biggest hits today, I would have said it would be Munro and Merritt,” Walton said on Saturday. “Both of them have hit [MSU pitcher] Alexis Silkwood pretty well historically. They both hit it out of the ball park last year a couple of times, so I think there was a right on left match-up there that's favorable to them.”

Aleshia Ocasio and Gourley ended the game with solid pitching efforts and helped the Gators take the game by a score of 6-3.

The Gators took the third and final game of the series by a score of 3-1 after 10 hard-fought innings.

MSU scored in the fifth inning and Florida answered in the sixth, but the game was deadlocked at 1-1 until Amanda Lorenz’s walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the tenth.

The home run was Lorenz’s sixth on the year.

Delanie Gourley picked up the win to improve to 15-2 on the year

Next up for the Gators: a trip to College Station, TX where they will battle the Aggies of Texas A&M in a three-game series.

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