Florida Softball Clinches First Road SEC Series

The number two (25-1, 4-0 SEC) Florida softball team clinched its second SEC series of the season Saturday. They defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks (19-9, 1-4 SEC) in the second game of the series 13-1 in five innings. The final game between the two squads will be Sunday at 1 p.m. in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Florida offense got off to a quick start scoring five runs in the first inning. The Gators loaded the bases with no outs thanks to a single up the middle from lead-off batter Sophia Reynoso, followed by two walks by Nicole DeWitt and Amanda Lorenz. Kayli Kvistad pushed the first two runs in with a single and with two outs, the bases were loaded after Aleshia Ocasio was hit by a pitch. Chelsea Herndon, the next batter, drew a walk that scored another run for Florida. Justine McLean earned the final RBI of the inning with a single to left field that scored Kvistad.

Jessica Elliott, the starting pitcher for South Carolina, settled in after the first inning. The Gators only put seven batters to the plate in second and third innings and Elliott held them to zero hits.

Elliott was pulled from the game in the fourth inning after a three run home run from DeWitt that plated McLean, who had walked and Reynoso, who had singled for her second hit of the game.

In the top of the fifth inning, the bases were loaded again for the Gators with no outs. DeWitt hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Herndon from third base to put Florida up 9-0. Lorenz followed with a triple that was a few feet from going over the fence as McLean and DeWitt scored. For the final runs by the Gators, Kvistad hit a home run over left field scoring Lorenz.

Sophomore Kelly Barnhill started in the circle for the Gators. Through 4.2 innings, Barnhill had a no-hitter going until Victoria Williams hit a hard ground ball up the middle for a single on a 2-2 count. Williams advanced to second on a passed ball by Janell Wheaton putting her in scoring position. Tiara Duffy followed up with double and an RBI for the Gamecocks to score their first run of the series. Barnhill closed out the inning with her ninth strikeout earning her tenth win of the season.

The final game of the series between the Gators and the Gamecocks will be Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be seen on the SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.


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