In Sunday’s afternoon game from Gainesville’s KSP Stadium, the Florida Gator softball team (30-1) earned a 3-0 win against Tennessee (21-8). The Gator victory caps off a weekend sweep of Tennessee, Florida is now 5-1 in the SEC.
Gator softball head coach Tim Walton says this is a big victory for Florida, as sweeps are hard to come by in the SEC.
After striking out eight batters and allowing only one hit, Florida’s Delanie Gourley is now 10-0 in the pitching circle this season. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Rainey Gaffin fell to 3-2 on the season after allowing five hits and two earned scores.
Gourley earned one strikeout to end the top of the first inning as Tennessee’s first three batters failed to get a hit. Kelsey Stewart got on base in the first with a single to center field, but was left on base as Florida’s inning ended. Gourley started the second inning with a strikeout and ended it the same way, as Tennessee still couldn’t manage to get on first base.
Delanie Gourley says she worked hard to improve her pitching this summer.
Gretchen Aucoin earned Tennessee’s only hit in the third, but was called out at second base after a timely throw by Gator outfielder Justine McLean.
Stewart continued her offensive streak in the third, earning another single that popped over Gaffin. Stewart also took second base, bringing her season total to nine stolen bases. The first Gator run came after a wild pitch prompted Stewart to trot in from third base.
In the top of the fourth, Tennessee left one runner on base before Florida’s defense ended the inning. Florida closed out the fourth inning without any hits. In the fifth, Gourley added another strikeout before Florida’s defense earned two more outs. Nicole DeWitt got the Gators’ third hit of the game, advancing to first before a Volunteer error helped to load the corners. This offensive streak led to a two-RBI single from Kelsey Stewart, making the score 3-0. Stewart also added her second steal of the game.
— Gator Softball (@GatorsSB) March 20, 2016
The Volunteers left one runner on base to end the their sixth inning. Nicole DeWitt started the bottom of the sixth with a double that rolled past first base, but the Gators left two runners on base to end the inning. In the seventh, Florida allowed it’s second stolen base of the season and Meghan Gregg improved to 17 of 17 on steal attempts. The stolen base didn’t phase Florida, Gourley struck out two Volunteers to end the game.
Looking forward, Kelsey Stewart says she is excited to play more SEC teams in preparation for the postseason.
The Gators will now travel to LSU for a two-game SEC road trip against the Tigers. Friday’s first pitch is set for 5 p.m.