The Florida softball team goes on the road for the first time in SEC play and the Gators come away with a 6-0 win over South Carolina on Friday night.
Senior pitcher Delanie Gourley got her eighth start of the season in the circle for Florida. Although she gave up a season high four walks on the night, Gourley allowed just two hits and earned nine strikeouts for her 10th win this year.
In true Gator softball fashion, head coach Tim Walton used a brand new line up for the game as red shirt freshman Sophia Reynoso batted lead-off for the first time this season. The change in the line up payed off for Florida as five of the eight hits came from first three batters.
— GatorVision (@GatorVisionTV) March 18, 2017
Florida got off to a quick start as Reynoso hit a double to deep center field in the top of the first inning. Nicole DeWitt and Kayli Kvistad both followed with walks to load the bases. Janell Wheaton got the first RBI of the night as she grounded out to second base which pushed all the runners up as Reynoso scored to put the Gators on the board. Jaimie Hoover followed with a single to left field that scored DeWitt. Hoover leads the team in RBI this year with 27.
DeWitt led off the third inning with a solo home run, her third of the season to put the Gators up 3-0. Later in the inning with runners on the corners and two outs, Wheaton got caught in a rundown as she attempted to steal second base which allowed Lorenz to score from third. Wheaton also managed to keep the inning alive after completing the steal to second.
Kvistad earned her third walk of the contest in the fifth inning for Florida. Freshman Jacqui Switzer pinch ran for Kvistad and stole second base, earning her eighth steal of the season. In the next at-bat Wheaton reached base on an error by the South Carolina first baseman which allowed Switzer to race around the bases and score from second giving the Gators a 5-0 lead.
No. 2 #Gators take the first game of the series 6-0 against South Carolina! 🐊
Game two is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/cOXAyj1Duy
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) March 18, 2017
The final run of the game came in the top of the seventh inning as DeWitt led off the inning with a double to left center field. Two ground outs later from Amanda Lorenz and Kvistad pushed DeWitt around the bases to score for the third time in the game.
The next game in the series against South Carolina will be on Saturday at 2 p.m. The series will wrap on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both game can be seen on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.