The top-ranked Florida Gator softball team fell to the sixth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 3-0 on Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. It was the first time the Gators have been shut out at home since 2014 and their first series loss at home since losing the series to LSU in March of 2015. The loss drops their record to 34-3.
For the Gators, not much went right on Sunday. In the top of the first, Alabama outfielder Haylie McCleney advanced to first off a single. Moments later, a sacrifice attempt from Chandler Dare led to the game’s first score after a throwing error between pitcher Delanie Gourley and Nicole DeWitt allowed McCleney to score, and Dare to advance all the way to third. Dare would make the score 2-0 for the Crimson Tide after another defensive miscue from the Gators, this time when Gourley dropped a pass from catcher Aubree Munro that would have allowed Gourley to tag out Dare at home plate.
The 2-0 deficit was too much for the Gators to overcome. Alabama’s defense played phenomenal, and the Gators just could not get anything going on offense. Florida only had two hits the entire day. Alabama extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth after a RBI double from Sydney Booker scored Rachel Bobo.
Florida’s day continued to get worse when head coach Tim Walton was tossed from the game in the top of the seventh following an angry verbal dispute with umpire Leah Bowen.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Gators were able to get DeWitt on first base, but Taylor Schwarz grounded out to the third baseman to end Florida’s day with a 3-0 loss.
The three runs scored by Florida is the lowest over a three-game stretch for the Gators this season
— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) April 3, 2016
Pitcher Delanie Gourley finished the day with four strikeouts while allowing three hits and three runs. Aleshia Ocasio would replace Gourley in the sixth, and Ocasio would go on to strike out three Alabama batters while allowing one hit through 1.2 innings pitched.
One lone bright spot of the day was the crowd. The attendance for Saturday was the fifth-highest in program history, with 2,409 fans in attendance.
— Gator Softball (@GatorsSB) April 3, 2016
The Gators will need to refocus before they get back into SEC play. The team will be on the road this Wednesday against UCF, before facing conference opponent Ole Miss on the road in a three-game series this weekend.