gator softball
The Florida Gators softball team huddles before contest against Bethune-Cookman. Florida won 15-7 in five innings. March 29, 2017.

Florida Softball Clinches Third Consecutive SEC Title

The top ranked Florida Gator softball team made history on Saturday. After defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 9-0 to clinch the three-game series, Florida became the regular season SEC Champions, for the third year in a row.

The Gators (46-3, 20-2 SEC) started Delanie Gourley in the circle for the second matchup in Knoxville. She had a solid outing, pitching a complete game with five strikeouts. The Volunteers only had three hits and gave Florida their 31st shutout of the season, which leads the nation. Gourley is now 15-3 on the season with an ERA of 0.89.

Hot Bats for Florida

Florida’s offense was consistent throughout the game. They scored at least one run in five of the seven innings. Amanda Lorenz started the game in the first inning with a single to center field. Two batters later, Kayli Kvistad drew a walk to put runners on first and second. With two outs, Aleshia Ocasio hit a deep shot to right field to clear the bases with a triple.

In the top of the fourth inning, Justine McLean hit a single to left field to start another rally for the Gators. Lorenz and Nicole DeWitt followed with another single and a walk, respectively, to load the bases. Janell Wheaton successfully laid down a bunt back to the pitcher and McLean was able to beat the toss to the plate to score a run. Later in the inning, Jordan Roberts came into pinch hit and hit a hard groundball to the third baseman, which led to a fielding error. Lorenz and DeWitt would both score unearned runs to give Florida a 7-0 lead.

The Gators would score their final two runs in the seventh inning. McLean and Lorenz led off the inning again with a pair of singles. Kvistad would follow with a double down the right field line, which cleared the bases.

Standout Performances

Lorenz had a career-high four hits in the game. She went 4-for-5 at the plate and reached base in each at-bat. At the bottom of the lineup, McLean also had a standout performance. She went 3-for-4 on the day and scored two runs.

On Sunday, the Gators will play their final SEC regular season game in the final contest against Tennessee. The game will be at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.

About Kayla Hudson

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