The 14th-ranked LSU Tiger softball team evened its series with home standing Florida with a 3-0 win on Saturday. The Gators honored right-handed pitcher Aleshia Ocasio, first baseman Kayli Kvistad, third baseman Nicole DeWitt and catcher Janell Wheaton for Senior Day as well but the joy was dampened by LSU.
The Gator (43-8, 16-4 SEC) offense struggled getting on base throughout the entire game. Florida recorded just three hits, by senior Janell Wheaton, designated player Jordan Roberts and pinch hitter Jaimie Hoover.
LSU pitchers Maribeth Gorsuch (7-2) and Allie Walljasper( save), each only had one strikeout as the Gators put the ball in play but had a hard time reaching base. Gator coach Tim Walton credits the LSU pitchers for being unpredictable. Walton said Gorsuch changed speeds, locations and the height of her pitches.
In the Circle
Aleshia Ocasio (16-6) said she thinks she did a good job throwing different pitches, but she said ultimately “you can’t win a game with zero runs.” Ocasio struck out five Tigers, allowed seven hits and three runs.
Ocasio said they needed to get runs across when they were in scoring position but adds that she has room for improvement as well.
Ocasio said her mindset didn’t change after giving up the home run. “It happens,” Ocasio said. “But it’s my job to come back, throw a strike and get the next batter out so they don’t have the momentum going through the inning.”
Walton said Ocasio has been giving up a lot more hits.
Both teams remained scoreless heading into the fifth inning. LSU catcher Michaela Schlattman’s two-run home run to right center field scored Amber Serrett.
Schlattman was responsible for all three runs. Later in the top of the seventh, Schlattman hit a single to bring in the third and final run. The RBI plated Shemiah Sanchez, and LSU lead 3-0.
It was the bottom of the seventh, two outs, the bases loaded and the Gators were at the top of their lineup. Freshman Hannah Adams was in the box. Gator fans hoped that her hit would be enough to put a run on the board for Florida, but a pop up to left center was caught and the game ended with left three Gators left on base.
Walton said they had a chance to win a ballgame and a chance to score, but they didn’t.
But he said the goal still is to win the week.
The Gators and LSU will battle to win the SEC series in Game 3 Sunday at noon.