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Florida Softball Team Has Strong Start to Season; Home Opener this Weekend

After the first week of play for college softball, the Florida Gators have already made their mark this season. Florida earned the No. 1 ranking in both polls when they went 5-0 in Tampa last weekend. Two of the five wins were against ranked teams including a 10-inning battle against Michigan.

Last Night’s Win

Wednesday night, the Gators went to Jacksonville University and continued their success with a 6-0 win. At the plate, the Gators were aggressive early. In the third inning, Jaimie Hoover was hit by a pitch and Justine McLean got on base with her second infield hit of the night. Two batters later, junior Nicole Dewitt hit a double to left center that cleared the bases.

In the next inning, Hoover gave the Gators their first triple of the season with a line drive down the right field line. However, the top of the lineup was unable to get her to the plate to score.

The sixth inning provided Florida with many scoring opportunities. The Dolphins had multiple defensive miscues including two walks that put DeWitt and Kayli Kvistad on base and an illegal pitch followed by a wild pitch that got DeWitt to score. Jordan Roberts had a sac fly to deep center that allowed Kvistad to add to the Gator lead.

Then, Chelsea Herndon and Sophia Reynoso both got on base with a hit by pitch and a single to left center, respectively. That brought Hoover back to the plate where she continued her successful night with a single that led to a throwing error which allowed two more runs.

Senior pitcher Delanie Gourley earned her third win of the season. She continued her scoreless inning streak, making it 14 innings since the start of the season. With DeWitt’s double in the third inning, she currently has a four game hit streak going.

What’s Next?

This weekend, Florida will play their home opener as they host the Aquafina Invitational. The teams that will make up the tournament are Florida A&M, FIU, Maryland and Northwestern State.

Their first opponent will be Northwestern State 6 p.m. Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Saturday and Sunday both include double headers for the Gators. The final game for Florida will be against Florida A&M on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

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