Florida Gators softball sweeps series from Louisiana Lafayette

Report on the Florida Gators softball team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — No. 1 Florida (41-3) utilized a two-run single by Aubree Munroin the second inning and stellar pitching by junior Delanie Gourley to defeat No. 5 Louisiana-Lafayette (32-6), 3-0, on Sunday afternoon to finish a weekend sweep. The Gators collected their first three-game sweep over a top-five opponent since March 6-8, 2011 when the Gators beat No. 3 Tennessee in Gainesville.
In addition, this was Florida’s first-ever three-game sweep over a top-five ranked non-conference opponent in program history.
Gourley (13-2) registered eight strikeouts over 4.2 innings of relief, allowing just two hits and no runs, to pick up the win. Gourley relieved freshman Kelly Barnhill who started the game and threw the first 2.2 innings. Florida’s rookie right-hander recorded three strikeouts but allowed three hits and four walks.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were shutout for just the second time this season.
Florida captured the momentum in the second inning of today’s game and carried that throughout the contest.
With runners on first and second and no one out in the top half of the second, Florida recorded a 1-4-3 triple play to end the inning. That was the third triple play in school history, with the previous two coming during the 2010 and 1999 seasons.
UF carried that new-found energy into the bottom of the second, as Nicole DeWittand Janell Wheaton led off the inning with a pair of singles. After they moved into scoring positon on a groundout, Munro drove them in with a two-run single to left giving Florida a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Barnhill allowed a pair of two-out hits and a walk prompting head coachTim Walton to make a pitching change. Gourley entered the bases-loaded jam and struck out the first hitter she faced on three pitches to get out of the inning.
Florida added an insurance run in the third when DeWitt recorded her second hit of the contest, this one an RBI single to right extending the UF lead to 3-0.
That was all the run support Gourley would need as ULL was unable to get a runner into scoring position the remainder of the game.
Team Notes

  • With today’s win, Florida is now 41-3 and still holds the highest win percentage (.932) in the country.
  • Florida is now 16-3 on the season against teams ranked in the top 25.
  • Florida is now unbeaten in 29 non-conference games this season and has won 120 of 122 non-league games dating to the start of 2013.
  • Florida’s senior class is now 214-31, which currently ranks seventh among four-year class records in program history.
  • Tim Walton is now just seven wins away from his 600th win at Florida.
  • Saturday’s games were broadcast on SEC Network. Florida is now 21-2 in contests that are streamed online.
  • Florida is now 16-3 against Top 25-ranked teams.
    • ULL is the fourth non-conference team ranked in the top 25 that the Gators have played this season.
      • Florida defeated Michigan, UCLA and Washington earlier this season.

Stat Watch

  • UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 267-43.
    • In 2015, UF had a plus-238 run differential (318-80) through 44 games.
    • In 2014, UF had a plus-186 run differential (285-99) through 44 games.
  • Florida’s 43 runs allowed through 44 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
    • UF’s 2009 squad allowed 40 tallies through 44 contests and Florida’s last two NCAA Championship teams had allowed 80 runs each, respectively.
  • The Gators have made just 19 errors this season and currently sport one of the best fielding percentages (.983) and earned run averages in the nation (0.84). For comparison, Florida had committed 27 errors through 43 contests last season and had a fielding percentage of .976. UF went on to record a .981 fielding percentage and commit just 33 errors, which were both school records.
  • Florida has not committed an error in 32 consecutive innings following Sunday’s game.
    • Florida’s season-long streak is 72 innings.
  • UF did not allow a stolen base on Wednesday, remaining the only team in the SEC who has yet to allow more than three stolen bases in 2016.
    • In addition, three stolen bases is the fewest Florida has allowed in school history through 44 games.
  • Florida recorded its third triple play in school history on Sunday afternoon in the third inning.
    • Previous two:
      • March 27, 2010 – Alabama (Game 2)
      • April 21, 1999 – Stetson (Game 1)

Pitching Notes

  • Strikeout totals = Delanie Gourley – 143, Kelly Barnhill – 131, Aleshia Ocasio – 99
    • They are looking to become the second trio in school history to all record 100+ strikeouts in a season.
    • UF achieved this feat last season when Lauren Haeger (214), Aleshia Ocasio (155) and Delanie Gourley (105) all reached the century mark.
    • Barnhill became the fifth Gator freshman in six years to record 100+ strikeouts a few weeks ago at LSU.
  • Florida’s trio of pitchers are looking to become the second group to all throw at least 100 innings in a single season.
    • UF’s 2002 group of Amanda Moore (174.2 IP), Amanda Knowles (113.2) and Mandy Schuerman (105.0 IP) last achieved this feat.
    • Innings pitched totals = Delanie Gourley – 100.2, Aleshia Ocasio – 99.0,Kelly Barnhill – 81.1
    • Ocasio (136.0, 2015) and Gourley (107.2, 2014) have each achieved this feat once before in their careers.
  • Florida’s pitching trio has now combined to allow just 43 runs, while they have totaled 373 strikeouts. Both of those numbers lead the SEC.
    • Ocasio (0.45) and Gourley (0.76) entered this week with the No. 1 and No. 3 ERAs in the country and Barnhill is fourth in strikeouts per game (11.0).
  • Gourley’s astounding 0.76 ERA (100.2 IP) would go down as the third-best ERA for a single season in Florida history if the season ended today.
    • 2nd – Stacey Nelson (0.75)
    • 1st – Stacey Nelson (0.61)

Hitting Notes

  • Hitting Streak:
  • Aubree Munro recorded her fourth double this season and her first since Feb. 26 in the fourth inning.
  • Kayli Kvistad is challenging for the top on-base percentage in school history, as she has recorded an OBP of .548 thus far this season.
    • Bailey Castro set the program record a season ago when she reached base at a .536 clip.
  • Amanda Lorenz, who’s currently hitting .389, is on pace to record the highest batting average for a freshman in school history.
    • Kelsey Stewart holds the batting title as she hit .378 during her freshman season in 2013.
  • Other freshman ranks that Lorenz is climbing into:
    • Runs Scored – 9th (41)
    • Doubles – T-7th (10)
    • Walks – 9th (31)

Coaches’ Corner
Head Coach Tim Walton:
On this series overall…
“You’ve got to give credit to our pitching staff and our defense. They both did a really good job of limiting one of the best offenses in the country to just two runs this weekend. We really mixed our pitches in the circle well and Delanie Gourley was pretty special this weekend.”
On Delanie Gourley coming in relief…
“We’ve brought her (Delanie Gourley) in some many games in some many different situations throughout this season. Today was with the bases loaded and she just came and brought a different look. Not only with her rise ball, but with her changeup too. To pitch, and to pitch well in those situations, I think you have to have a different mentality and that’s something she really embraces.”
On the triple play…
“It was the biggest play of the series for sure. That play completely changed the momentum of today’s game. If you would’ve told me that we’re going to turn a triple play on one of their (ULL) fastest players, I would’ve said ‘yeah right’. Obviously the circumstances changed when the umpire called the out very quickly, and I was just making sure that we knew what we were doing. Sure enough, Kelly turns and throws to second because she knew she caught it. We did a really good job of being quick and decisive on that play.”
Series History

  • Despite this weekend’s sweep, ULL still holds the all-time series lead over UF, 4-3.
  • Florida’s win in game one of yesterday’s doubleheader was UF’s first against Louisiana-Lafayette in program history.
  • Yesterday’s doubleheader marked the two teams’ first-ever meeting in Gainesville.
    • The only prior meeting on either school’s campus came in February, 2002, at Lamson Park in Louisiana.
  • In addition to this being the first-ever meeting in a three-game weekend series, UF and ULL last met in May 2008 at the WCWS in Oklahoma City when the Ragin Cajuns won 3-2 in eight innings.

Series Stats

  • ULL entered this weekend with one of the top offenses in the country, as the Ragin’ Cajuns ranked fifth in the nation in batting average (.347) and they have hit an NCAA-leading 77 home runs. Florida’s pitching staff limited ULL to just 12 hits (one home run) during the series for a .179 batting average.
  • The Gators batted .351 on the weekend with five home runs, two doubles, one triple and 20 RBI. Meanwhile, UF’s pitching staff compiled a 0.74 earned run average, with 26 strikeouts and five walks.
  • Aubree Munro and Kayli Kvistad paced the Gators offense this weekend they hit a combined .500 (9 for 18) with two home runs, one double, one triple, 11 RBI and four runs scored.
  • In the circle, Delanie Gourley led Florida as she went 2-0 with one save 11.1 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts and only one walk.

Next Up
The Gators remain home on Wednesday for a midweek game at 6 p.m. against No. 25 USF. The game will be broadcast online on SEC Network+ and Florida Sports Talkwill have the radio broadcast. In addition, a live stats link can be found on the Gators’ schedule page.


Previous articleFlorida Gators gymnastics falls just short at NCAA championship
Next articleFlorida Gators softball recap of Lafayette series
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.