On Wednesday night, the Florida Gator (34-2) softball team hosted in-state opponent North Florida (21-16). The Gators beat the Ospreys 5-1 for their fifth win in a row.
Junior Aleshia Ocasio got the start in the circle for Florida. She pitched a complete game earning four strikeouts while allowing an earned run; her earned run average remains one of the lowest in the country at 0.84. Ocasio is now 7-0 on the season.
The Gator offense was off to their usual quick start. Lead-off batter Amanda Lorenz saw only two pitches before she blasted a home run over the center field fence to give her team the early lead. Florida would go on to load the bases with no outs. Freshman Jaimie Hoover, who leads the team in RBI (36), added another one as she hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Nicole DeWitt from third.
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) April 5, 2017
In the bottom of the second inning, Sophia Reynoso got on base after being hit by a pitch. Then, Lorenz came to the plate and hit her second home run of the contest. Despite feeling uneasy before the game, Lorenz did her best to stay calm as she approached each at bat.
Florida’s final run came in the third inning. Without recording a hit in the inning, the Gators managed to get the bases loaded due to two walks and another hit by pitch for Reynoso. Lorenz drew another walk which scored Hoover from third base. Lorenz finished the game going 2 for 3 with a walk.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Ospreys threatened a comeback. Ashley Niesman hit an infield single to get on base and advanced to second on a ground out on the next play. Mary Rodriquez delivered in her at bat as she hit a double down the left field line to score Niesman.
But that was all the scoring for the Ospreys. Good pitching and defense carried the day for Florida and Gator coach Tim Walton said his team works very hard to be able to perform so well on defense.
Florida will host Georgia next in a three game series at home. The first game will be Saturday at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.