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Gators down
Kentucky 7-0

Written by Andrew Spivey, May 23, 2015, 0 Comments,
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Special to GC

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Behind senior Lauren Haeger's two-hitter, the No. 1-seeded University of Florida softball team (54-6) blanked Kentucky (33-25) on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd (1,739) in Game 1 of an NCAA Super Regional, 7-0 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.



The Peoria, Ariz. product improved to 27-1 on the season and has now tossed 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings against the Wildcats. Offensively, UF was led by freshman Kayli Kvistad, who notched her seventh career three-RBI game.



UF jumped on the Wildcats early, as the Gators plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning on three hits.



Florida loaded the bases following a pair of singles by junior Kelsey Stewart and freshman Nicole DeWitt and a walk from junior Kirsti Merritt. Junior Taylore Fuller was then hit-by-a-pitch to plate Stewart and give UF a 1-0 lead. Kvistad then bashed a bases-clearing double over UK's right fielder to give UF a 4-0 advantage.



The Gators never looked back.



Behind great defense and standout pitching from Haeger, UF held the Wildcats to just two baserunners to secure the Game 1 victory.



Florida tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth, as Haeger blasted a solo homer and Merritt hit a two-run bomb to give UF a commanding 7-0 lead. Bailey Castro reached base before Merritt's long ball as she was hit by a pitch.



Those homers were the 16th and ninth jacks of the season for Haeger and Merritt, respectively.



STARS OF THE GAME

*         Lauren Haeger: The right-hander retired Kentucky's first 16 batters and allowed just two baserunners the entire game.

*         Kayli Kvistad: The freshman's three-run double extended the Gators' lead to four in the bottom of the first inning.

*         Kirsti Merritt: The Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., native gave UF a commanding 7-0 advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning when she hit her ninth homer of the season.



NOTABLES

*         Florida has now thrown a shutout in all four of its postseason games this year, covering 29 innings.

*         Dating back to the start of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Gators are 14-1 with 12 shutouts in the postseason; four different pitchers have recorded a shutout during that span (Delanie Gourley, Haeger, Aleshia Ocasio, Hannah Rogers).

*         Stewart and DeWitt each recorded a hit, giving them a team-high six for the tournament.

*         Stewart now has an 15-game hitting streak in the NCAA Tournament dating back to the start of the 2014 tournament, while DeWitt has a career-best six-game strand.

*         Haeger recorded her first postseason home run since Game 2 of the 2014 Super Regional against Washington (5/25/14).

*         The senior now has 68 career home runs and 68 career wins; she is the only player in Division I history to post 60+ in each category.

*         The Arizona native tossed her third two-hit shutout against the Wildcats this season.

*         Overall, the senior has thrown 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings against UK dating back to April 13, 2013, covering four games. She has allowed a total of six hits during those outings.

*         The senior threw her third shutout of this postseason - she has recorded 22.0 consecutive scoreless frames during that span while allowing seven hits, striking out 19 batters and walking just two.

*         As a team, the Gators have thrown 29.0 shutout innings during the NCAA Tournament, yielding eight hits with 36 strikeouts against three walks.



UP NEXT
The Super Regional concludes Sunday with Game 2 at noon (all times Eastern) and Game 3 (if necessary) at 3 p.m. ESPN will televise the action with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and former Arizona All-American Jenny Dalton-Hill (analysis) on the call. Florida Sports Talk<http://mgmt.firststreaming.com/listen/player.php?callsign=WMOP_AM> will have the radio broadcast with Adam Schick (play-by-play) and former Gator All-American Megan Bush as the announce team. In addition, live stats will be available through Gametracker via the GatorZone.com schedule page<http://www.gatorzone.com/schedule.php?sport=softb>.

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/florida-gators-florida-softball-february-13th-2015-nc-state-wolfpack-florida-gators-outfielder-kirsti-merritt-long-drive-150x150.jpg Andrew Spivey FeatureOther Sports ,,,,
Print Friendly

Special to GC

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Behind senior Lauren Haeger's two-hitter, the No. 1-seeded University of Florida softball team (54-6) blanked Kentucky (33-25) on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd (1,739) in Game 1 of an NCAA Super Regional, 7-0 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.



The Peoria, Ariz. product improved to 27-1 on the season and has now tossed 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings against the Wildcats. Offensively, UF was led by freshman Kayli Kvistad, who notched her seventh career three-RBI game.



UF jumped on the Wildcats early, as the Gators plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning on three hits.



Florida loaded the bases following a pair of singles by junior Kelsey Stewart and freshman Nicole DeWitt and a walk from junior Kirsti Merritt. Junior Taylore Fuller was then hit-by-a-pitch to plate Stewart and give UF a 1-0 lead. Kvistad then bashed a bases-clearing double over UK's right fielder to give UF a 4-0 advantage.



The Gators never looked back.



Behind great defense and standout pitching from Haeger, UF held the Wildcats to just two baserunners to secure the Game 1 victory.



Florida tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth, as Haeger blasted a solo homer and Merritt hit a two-run bomb to give UF a commanding 7-0 lead. Bailey Castro reached base before Merritt's long ball as she was hit by a pitch.



Those homers were the 16th and ninth jacks of the season for Haeger and Merritt, respectively.



STARS OF THE GAME

*         Lauren Haeger: The right-hander retired Kentucky's first 16 batters and allowed just two baserunners the entire game.

*         Kayli Kvistad: The freshman's three-run double extended the Gators' lead to four in the bottom of the first inning.

*         Kirsti Merritt: The Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., native gave UF a commanding 7-0 advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning when she hit her ninth homer of the season.



NOTABLES

*         Florida has now thrown a shutout in all four of its postseason games this year, covering 29 innings.

*         Dating back to the start of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Gators are 14-1 with 12 shutouts in the postseason; four different pitchers have recorded a shutout during that span (Delanie Gourley, Haeger, Aleshia Ocasio, Hannah Rogers).

*         Stewart and DeWitt each recorded a hit, giving them a team-high six for the tournament.

*         Stewart now has an 15-game hitting streak in the NCAA Tournament dating back to the start of the 2014 tournament, while DeWitt has a career-best six-game strand.

*         Haeger recorded her first postseason home run since Game 2 of the 2014 Super Regional against Washington (5/25/14).

*         The senior now has 68 career home runs and 68 career wins; she is the only player in Division I history to post 60+ in each category.

*         The Arizona native tossed her third two-hit shutout against the Wildcats this season.

*         Overall, the senior has thrown 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings against UK dating back to April 13, 2013, covering four games. She has allowed a total of six hits during those outings.

*         The senior threw her third shutout of this postseason - she has recorded 22.0 consecutive scoreless frames during that span while allowing seven hits, striking out 19 batters and walking just two.

*         As a team, the Gators have thrown 29.0 shutout innings during the NCAA Tournament, yielding eight hits with 36 strikeouts against three walks.



UP NEXT
The Super Regional concludes Sunday with Game 2 at noon (all times Eastern) and Game 3 (if necessary) at 3 p.m. ESPN will televise the action with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and former Arizona All-American Jenny Dalton-Hill (analysis) on the call. Florida Sports Talk<http://mgmt.firststreaming.com/listen/player.php?callsign=WMOP_AM> will have the radio broadcast with Adam Schick (play-by-play) and former Gator All-American Megan Bush as the announce team. In addition, live stats will be available through Gametracker via the GatorZone.com schedule page<http://www.gatorzone.com/schedule.php?sport=softb>.

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