Report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 1-ranked University of Florida softball team (43-3/13-3 SEC) defeated Mississippi State (24-21/3-13 SEC), 16-0 (five innings), in the opener of the teams’ three-game Southeastern Conference series on Friday at KSP Stadium. Sophomore Kayli Kvistad recorded five RBI to go along with a pair of home runs and junior Delanie Gourley (14-2) threw the third no hitter of her career as she notched four strikeouts and allowed just three walks in five shutout innings.
Gourley joins Hannah Rogers as the only Gators to throw three no hitters. In addition, Gourley is now one of four Gators (Hannah Rogers, 2013; Stacey Nelson, 2009, Beth Dieter, 2000) to throw two no hitters in one season.
The Lakeside, Calif. native previously no-hit South Dakota on March 9 in the second game of a doubleheader. Gourley recorded her first-career no no during her freshman season on May 16, 2014 against Florida A&M.
All three of Gourley’s no hitters have come in five-inning run-rule victories.
Gourley and Rogers are only two Gators throw no hitters against the Bulldogs. Rogers no hit MSU on April 5, 2013.
Florida grabbed the momentum in the first inning on Wednesday and never looked back.
After Florida’s left-hander struck out the side in the top of the first, the Gators scored seven runs on six hits in the bottom half of the inning.
Sophomore Kayli Kvistad and senior Taylore Fuller each hit a two-run home run, while Janell Wheaton (double), Aubree Munro (single), and Justine McLean (single) all recorded RBI hits sandwiched in-between those homers.
Friday’s contest entered a brief eight-minute rain delay in the bottom of the first prior to Fuller’s home run.
With the Gators still leading the Bulldogs, 7-0, in the middle of the third inning, the game entered another rain delay, which lasted one hour and five minutes.
After play resumed in the bottom of the third, Florida added five runs on four hits to extend the Gators lead to 12-0. During that frame, Kvistad hit her second two-run homer of the game and sophomore Nicole DeWitt mashed a two-run bomb to right-center field. Senior Kelsey Stewart got things going during that inning with an RBI single up the middle with no one out.
UF added four runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth to bring the game to its final score of 16-0. On Friday, Mississippi had only three baserunners all night, as Gourley yielded walks in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
After Friday’s shutout, Florida has not allowed a run in 20 consecutive innings. The Gators season-long streak is 30 innings, which began on March 19 against Tennessee and ended on March 26 at LSU.
In addition, Florida recorded its 23rd shutout of the season.
- With tonight’s win, Florida is now 43-3 and still holds the highest win percentage (.935) in the country.
- Florida, who’s currently in first place in the SEC standings, hold a 13-3 mark in conference play for the first time since 2013.
- Florida’s senior class is now 216-31, which currently ranks tied for sixth among four-year class records in program history.
- Tim Walton is now just five wins away from his 600th win at Florida.
- Walton earned his 700th career win on March 12 at Auburn.
- Friday’s game was broadcast on SEC Network+. Florida is now 23-2 in contests that are streamed online.
- Florida is now 27-0 against unranked opponents this season.
- UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 286-43.
- In 2015, UF had a plus-249 run differential (333-84) through 46 games.
- In 2014, UF had a plus-200 run differential (300-100) through 46 games.
- Florida’s 43 runs allowed through 46 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
- UF’s 2009 squad allowed 40 tallies through 46 contests and Florida’s last two NCAA Championship teams had allowed 80 runs each, respectively.
- The Gators have made just 20 errors this season and currently sport one of the best fielding percentages (.983) and earned run averages in the nation (0.80). For comparison, Florida had committed 27 errors through 46 contests last season and had a fielding percentage of .977. UF went on to record a .981 fielding percentage and commit just 33 errors, which are both school records.
- Florida’s astounding 0.80 team ERA (295.2 IP) would go down as the second-best ERA for a single season in program history if the season ended today.
- Top ERA Season’s in UF History:
- 2008 – 0.92 ERA (512.0 IP)
- 2009 – 0.69 ERA (444.0 IP)
- Florida’s miniscule .157 batting average against (295.2 IP) would go down as the best b/avg. for a single season in program history if the season ended today.
- Top B/Avg. Season’s in UF History:
- 2008 – 0.176 b/avg. (512.0 IP)
- 2009 – 0.161 b/avg. (444.0 IP)
- UF did not allow a stolen base on Friday, 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 46 games.
- Florida’s opponents have only attempted to steal nine bases againstAubree Munro and Florida’s catchers this season. That mark would shatter Florida’s school record of 25 attempts that was set in 2015.
- In addition, UF’s stolen-base-against percentage of 33% (3-9) this season would be the lowest in school history if the season ended today. Florida’s 2003 team currently holds that mark as they allowed just 51.7% (31-60) of runners to steal a base safely.
- Florida recorded its 20th double play of the season in the second inning and its 21st in the fifth inning.
- UF had turned just 13 double plays through 46 contests a season ago. In addition, Florida’s 2016 squad is just seven double plays away its program record 28 that it turned during the 2014 season.
- The DP had Taylor Schwarz in the fifth involved, extending her UF record to 63 double plays turned in her career.
- Aleshia Ocasio (15-1), Kelly Barnhill (14-0) and Delanie Gourley (14-2) are looking to become the first trio in school history to all record at least 15 wins in a season.
- Gourley (149), Barnhill (135) and Ocasio (103) are the second trio in school history to all record 100+ strikeouts in a season. They are trying to become the first trio in school history to all record 150+ strikeouts in a season.
- 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 – 106.2, Aleshia Ocasio – 99.0, ,Kelly Barnhill – 84.0
- Ocasio (136.0, 2015) and Gourley (107.2, 2014) have each achieved this feat once before in their careers.
- Florida’s pitching trio has combined to allow just 43 runs, while they have totaled 387 strikeouts. Both of those numbers lead the SEC.
- Only two teams in Florida history have ever allowed less than 100 runs in a single season. UF’s 2009 squad allowed just 67 runs and its 2008 team allowed 94 tallies.
- Florida’s 387 strikeouts currently ranks ninth all-time in program history for strikeouts in a single season.
- Ocasio (0.48) and Gourley (0.72) entered this week with the No. 1 and No. 4 ERAs in the country and Barnhill is fourth in strikeouts per game (10.9).
- Gourley’s astounding 0.72 ERA (106.2 IP) would go down as the second-best ERA for a single season in Florida history if the season ended today.
- Stacey Nelson currently holds the top two single season ERAs in program history, as she recorded a 0.61 ERA (285.1 IP) in 2009 and 0.75 (352.2 IP) in 2008.
- Hitting Streak:
- After scoring one run on Friday night, Kelsey Stewart is now just seven runs shy of Aja Paculba’s school record 253.
- In addition, Kelsey Stewart is now three total bases shy of Lauren Haeger‘s program record 494.
- Kirsti Merritt was hit by a pitch game on Friday, she now has 70 for her career, extending her own UF and SEC records.
- Kayli Kvistad hit her 10th and 11th home runs on Friday night. It was her second multi-home run game of the season. After recording five RBI on Friday, Kvistad now has a team-leading 53 on the season.
- Taylore Fuller mashed her sixth long ball of the season with her two-run shot in the first inning.
- Nicole DeWitt hit her fifth home run of the season and her first since March 25 at LSU.
- Janell Wheaton recorded her second double of the season and first since UF’s opening weekend at USF on February 14 in Tampa.
- That two-bagger drove in her third run of the year in SEC play.
- Aubree Munro recorded her fifth double of the season and she now has seven eight extra-base hits on 2016.
- Kvistad is hitting .484 (15 for 31) over UF’s last 10 games with six homers, 17 RBI and eight runs scored.
- Kvistad and Amanda Lorenz are challenging for the top on-base percentage in school history, as they each have recorded an OBP of .552 and .515 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 .392, is on pace to record the highest batting average for a freshman in school history. In addition, she could become the first rookie in program history to have an on-base percentage over .500.
- 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 – T-7th (43)
- Doubles – T-7th (10)
- Walks – T-6th (35)
Head Coach Tim Walton:
On Delanie’s no-hitter…
“It was tough circumstances for Delanie (Gourley) to throw like that. She didn’t have her best stuff, you could tell she wasn’t as sharp as she’s been. But she was still good enough to throw a no hitter. We made some really nice defensive plays for her too. I thought that was really key.”
On Florida’s offense…
“I thought the offense did a really good job of taking what they gave us. If they threw the ball over the plate we did a good job of spraying it all around. If the ball was off the plate, I thought we were disciplined and didn’t free swing. We did a good job. When you can get production out of your nine-hole hitter (Taylore Fuller) like that, it’s key. It has been nice to see that that position has been able to turn our line-up over and get more people on base.”
LHP Delanie Gourley:
On her no hitter…
“It means a lot. It’s hard to get a no hitter in general, but let alone in the SEC. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just came out, did my stuff, my team played great, and that was it.”
- Florida now leads the all-time series with Mississippi State, 31-19; this including a 17-8 advantage at home.
- Since Tim Walton became Florida’s head coach before the 2006 season, the Gators are now 22-3 against the Bulldogs.