Saturday afternoon, third ranked Florida (35-2, 11-1 SEC) and 19th ranked Georgia (27-11, 2-8 SEC) played their first contest of a three game series. The Gators came out on top 5-0 for their 22nd shutout of the season.
Sophomore Kelly Barnhill had the start in the circle for the Gators. In the first inning, Georgia proved to be aggressive at the plate and on the base paths. Sisters Cortni and Sydni Emanuel led off the inning with back-to-back bunts for singles. Barnhill followed with two strikeouts, then Janell Wheaton finished the inning as she threw C. Emanuel out at third when she attempted to steal.
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) April 8, 2017
Florida would go on to score first in the bottom of the first inning. Amanda Lorenz and Nicole DeWitt both singled. Then, Jaimie Hoover walked to load the bases with two outs. Junior Aleshia Ocasio then drew a walk, which allowed Lorenz to score and give Florida the early lead.
Florida Bats Come Alive
The scoring would not continue until the bottom of the fourth inning. With the sun in the eyes of the right fielder, Ocasio led off the inning with a triple to right field. Two batters later, Justine McLean hit an infield grounder. Ocasio was able to beat the throw at home and add to Florida’s lead. Lorenz would later come up and push in another run with a single to center field as McLean scored from second base. For the second time in the game, the Gators had the bases loaded with two outs. Freshman Jordan Roberts hit the ball to the third baseman, Alyssa DiCarlo, who misplayed the ball. Lorenz and DeWitt both scored. After scoring four runs in the inning, Barnhill and the rest of her teammates were able to secure the victory.
The series will continue Sunday night. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. in Gainesville. The game can be seen on SEC Network.