The top ranked Florida softball team (42-3) beat in state rival USF (39-11) 3-0 Wednesday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Florida sophomore pitcher Aleshia Ocasio is now 15-1 on the season after earning the win for Florida, while USF senior Erica Nunn’s record dropped to 22-7.
Florida put all three of their pitchers in the circle throughout the night, with freshman Kelly Barnhill leading off. Barnhill found herself in a tough spot early on in the first. A rare Kelsey Stewart error and a walk loaded the bases for USF before Barnhill got her second strikeout of the night. Florida’s defense held strong and the bases remained loaded to end the top of the first.
Stewart was first on base for Florida and added two stolen bases after an error by the Bulls. Amanda Lorenz struck out but a Kirsti Merritt walk loaded Florida’s bases. The Gators also left all three runners on base to end the first inning.
Florida’s defense made quick work of the second inning, retiring three USF batters and leaving one on first base. Both teams struggled offensively and failed to score entering the fourth inning. Aleshia Ocasio took over in the circle for Florida and USF took advantage of the pitching change by putting runners on first and second but Ocasio got two strikeouts to end the inning. Florida didn’t score in its half of the fourth either.
In the fifth, Ocasio continued her precise pitching and left two USF runners on base. Nunn was cruising for the Bulls, limiting the Gators to one hit until Amanda Lorenz made the score 1-0 with a solo home run. Lorenz says Florida relaxed after getting runs on the board.
Kayli Kvistad and Kirsti Merritt also added singles in the fifth before a Nicole DeWitt double to left field scored both runners. Florida now led 3-0. Gator softball head coach Tim Walton says Lorenz made a good adjustment against USF’s pitcher.
Ocasio added another strikeout in the top of the sixth as USF failed to get a hit. Florida left two runners on base to end the sixth inning.
Coach Walton made yet another pitching change to close out the seventh inning and Delanie Gourley began her game with a strikeout. Gourley added one more strikeout before Florida’s defense ended the game.
Coach Walton says this team never counts themselves out of a game until it’s over.
— Gator Softball (@GatorsSB) April 21, 2016
The Gators will be back on the diamond this Friday when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first of a three game series.