Wrapping up a game-filled weekend, Florida Gator softball finishes undefeated in their first tournament of the season.
The Gators took down both the UAB Blazers, 6-0, and the USF Bulls, 14-3 on Sunday to end the tournament 5-0.
UAB (1-4) vs. Florida (5-0)
The Gators started the third day of the USF-Wilson DeMarini Tournament taking on the UAB Blazers.
In the top of the first inning, sophomore pitcher Katie Chronister recorded three strikeouts; only walking one batter.
Through the next four innings, the Blazers and Gators battled, and held each other scoreless. But, in the bottom of the fifth, Gator senior Janell Wheaton picked up Florida’s first hit of the game, a double to center field. With one out, sophomore catcher Jordan Roberts got on base after an error by UAB. Then, Sophia Reynoso was hit by a pitch and loaded the bases for the Gators.
Freshman Jordan Matthews then singled to drive in Florida’s first two runs of the game and another true freshman Hannah Adams hit a line drive double down the left field line to bring in two more Gator runners to make the score 4-0. After Nicole DeWitt popped out, junior Amanda Lorenz stepped to the plate with two outs for Florida and smacked a double to right-center field to plate another run.
Later, senior Aleshia Ocasio walked to bring in Lorenz, making the score 6-0. The Gators held on to pick up the shutout win.
Florida (5-0) vs. USF (4-1)
After a few hours of rest, the Gators came back out on the field to take on the host of the tournament, USF. The Gator bats were quiet in the top of the first inning, but moving into the bottom of the inning pitcher Aleshia Ocasio and the Gator defense held the Bulls to three up, three down. In the top of the second, the Gators loaded up the bases with two outs, but couldn’t produce any runs.
USF took advantage of the lack of runs by Florida to put up a run in the bottom of the second. This run by the Bulls ended the Gator shutout streak of four games but Florida didn’t let that run bring them down.
In the Gator third Hannah Adams singled to right and advanced on a groundout to second base by Nicole DeWitt. Amanda Lorenz singled to plate Adams to tie the game at 1-1.
— Gators Softball (@GatorsSB) February 11, 2018
With the bases loaded, Ocasio walked and that scored Lorenz, giving the Gators the lead, 2-1.
The USF Bulls made a pitching change after multiple walks, bringing freshman Jordan Matthews up to the plate. She hit an RBI single and the next hitter, Sophia Reynoso reaches on a fielder’s choice and as the USF shortstop tries to cut down the run at the plate, the throw sailed wide and two more runs scored to give Florida a 5-1 cushion. The Gators would go on to score nine more runs in this match up against USF to make the final score 14-3 Florida.
Gator coach Tim Walton had this to say about his team after closing the weekend with two strong performances.
“I’m really proud of our players for coming out today and playing hard, even though we were in a tight game and being down by a run at one time. I thought our at-bats improved as we moved through the day. So, I’m just really happy for the way that we got after that. I’m also proud of our team, especially the young players, for the way they came out and didn’t skip a beat.”
Up Next for the Gators
The second ranked Gators head back to Gainesville for their home-opener on Wednesday when they host UNF at 6 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressley Stadium.