The fourth ranked Florida softball team played all or parts of three games on Saturday, winning 7-0 over Hampton and taking two from Jacksonville (2-1 and 4-0). Florida outscored Hampton and Jacksonville by 30 runs in the four-game weekend of non-conference play. After the first game against Hampton, the Gators resumed yesterday’s game against Jacksonville that was stopped due to weather in a 1-1 tie. Although Florida played three games, the Gators offense still had 20 hits. Florida remains undefeated against the Pirates and Dolphins.
Freshman pitcher Natalie Lugo picked up her first collegiate win in her first start. Lugo had 11 strikeouts, three hits and no walks in 103 pitches. Jaime Hoover, Hannah Adams and Sophia Reynoso all finished with two hits in the contest. Adams and Reynoso also had two RBI each in the game. Florida won the game 7-0.
The second game was a resumption of the game against the Dolphins yesterday that was halted by rain with the score at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning. Jacksonville homered off starting pitcher Kelly Barnhill in the third inning before Florida catcher Janell Wheaton tied the game with an RBI single. Florida would score the winning run in the fifth inning thanks to an RBI hit from Kayli Kvistad and Aleshia Ocasio got the win in the circle in relief of Barnhill.
In the second game against the Dolphins, Barnhill improved to 15-1 for the season after striking out 13 and allowing one hit. The birthday girl threw 91 pitches and only managed to walk one batter. Florida spread out its offense with seven hitters getting at least one hit, and the Gators scored early in the contest as well. In the first inning, Florida got RBI hits from Janell Wheaton and Jordan Matthews to take a 2-0 lead. A Dolphin error plated another Gator run the fourth inning and an obstruction call in the following inning gave the Gators their final run. A walk also allowed left fielder Amanda Lorenz to extend her reach base streak to all 36 games played this season.
Tim Walton’s team will head almost two hours south to take on the University of Central Florida Knights in Orlando April 4. The Gators are 20-3 all-time against UCF and won their last meeting 9-1 during the 2017 regular season. The first pitch is at 6 p.m at UCF Softball Complex.