Florida Softball Starts SEC Series With Shutout, No-Hitter

The Florida Gator softball team is 43-3 following a 16-0 rout at home against the Mississippi State Bulldogs (24-21) on Friday.

UF pitcher Delanie Gourley is now 14-2 on the season after throwing the third no-hitter of her career while MSU’s Mackenzie Toler fell to 0-2 on the year.  Gourley joins Hannah Rogers as the only Gators to throw three no-hitters in a single season.

Gourley says the SEC competition made the no-hitter even more special.

Gourley struck out the side in the first inning by striking out the side and in the bottom half of the inning, Kayli Kvistad hit a two run homer to put the Gators on top.

Nicole DeWitt walked after a string of Toler’s pitches failed to find the strike zone. DeWitt then scored easily after a Janell Wheaton double that settled deep in center-right field. An Aubree Munro single scored Wheaton and extended the lead 4-0. Munro quickly scored via a Justine McLean single before play was suspended at 6:31 PM for a rain delay.

Florida softball head coach Tim Walton said the initial strikeouts contributed to the offensive hot streak.

Mississippi State was forced to make a change at pitcher and Cori Cooper came in for the Bulldogs. She didn’t do much better as a Taylore Fuller homer completed a seven run first inning for the Gators.

In the top of second inning Amanda Ivy struck out and Florida’s defense also made a double play. Florida had a couple of singles in the bottom of the second but left three runners on base. The third inning was cut short by a 65-minute rain delay.

Justine McLean added a single to start the bottom of the third while Taylore Fuller walked. A single got past second base for Kelsey Stewart which scored McLean and made the score 8-0. Mississippi State had a great defensive double play that put Kayli Kvistad up to bat with two outs. Kvistad responded with her second homer of the night which scored Fuller.

Kvistad said Florida’s offense is clicking because they focus on improving themselves instead of scouting the other team.

Nicole DeWitt’s fifth home run of the season came next, she scored Nicole Merritt who had been hit by a pitch. Those consecutive two-run homers made the lead 12-0.

The fourth inning was business as usual for Florida’s defense, no errors and no hits. In the bottom of the fourth Aubree Munro hit a double to center field before McLean got an additional single. Florida’s next two runs came from Lorenz and Kvistad who both added singles of their own. Kirsti Merritt’s single made the score 16-0. Kvistad led the Gators with five RBI on the day.

Florida had a second double play on the night and their defense ended the fifth inning and the game ended by mercy rule.

The Gators and Bulldogs will play again on Saturday with first pitch set for 1 PM.

About Charlie Jordan

I'm a senior studying Political Science at the University of Florida. Multimedia Sports Reporter for ESPN Gainesville 95.3 and WUFT - Passionate about life, sports, and fitness.

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