Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The fourth-ranked Florida softball team clinched its seventh Southeastern Conference series with a 5-0 shutout victory over Missouri Saturday afternoon.
Aleshia Ocasio(17-6) hurled her sixth shutout of the season and struck out 10 Tigers (28-26, 6-16 SEC) in the complete-game effort from the circle.
Florida (46-8, 19-4 SEC) manufactured its first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Jaimie Hoover gave UF the 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Nicole DeWitt from third.
Amanda Lorenz started the rally with a single up the heart of the Tigers infield, but was later erased on DeWitt fielder’s choice. Kayli Kvistad followed up with a walk and Janell Wheaton was hit by a 2-1 pitch to load the bases for Hoover.
Prior to the Gators first run in the fourth, Missouri threatened to score in the bottom of the third inning. Callie Martin doubled and advanced to third on a misplay in right field to lead off the frame. Ocasio battled back to strikeout the side and eliminate the scoring threat to preserve the scoreless tie.
A pair of solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings pushed the Florida lead out to 4-0. Jordan Roberts belted her fourth home run of the year in the sixth while Lorenz crushed her eighth home run of the year in the top of the seventh.
The Gators picked up one more insurance run before the game ended to bring the score to 5-0. Hoover sent a routine ground ball out to Braxton Burnside at shortstop for what would have been the final out but Burnsides flip to Brooke Wilmes at second was off the mark which allowed DeWitt to race home for the last run of the game.
The two teams will return to action in the series finale Sunday, May 6 at 3 p.m. (ET)/2 p.m. (CT).
· Florida improved to 11-4 all-time against Missouri and 4-1 on the road.
· The Gators scored in one run via a SAC fly by Jaimie Hoover in the fourth to go ahead 1-0.
o The program is now 41-2 on the season when scoring first.
· Ocasio registered 10 strikeouts in the contest this afternoon.
o It’s the third time this season where she tallied 10 or more strikeouts in a game.
o The Gators now have 21 games on the season where there have been 10 or more strikeouts.
· The program has won seven Southeastern Conference series this season.
· Amanda Lorenz finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate for her 18th multi-hit game of the season.