No. 1 Florida Gators softball defeats No. 20 USF

Report on the Florida Gators softball team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 1-ranked Florida softball team (42-3) defeated No. 23 USF (39-11), 3-0, on Wednesday night at KSP Stadium. The Gators recorded their second win this season over South Florida and UF is now unbeaten in 30 non-conference contests in 2016.
After each team loaded the bases in the first inning and failed to push a run across home plate, the game remained scoreless until the fifth when Florida scored the game’s only three runs on four hits.
Amanda Lorenz got things going in the fifth with a solo home run of the scoreboard in left-center field. After Kayli Kvistad and Kirsti Merritt followed the solo bomb with a pair of singles, Nicole DeWitt mashed her fourth double of the season to score both runners and give Florida its 3-0 lead.
Florida did all its damage during that inning with two outs.
Kelly Barnhill started and threw the first three innings while recording four strikeouts and allowing just one hit. Sophomore Aleshia Ocasio (15-1) followed the rookie and notched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and three hits allowed.
Junior Delanie Gourley tossed the final frame for the Gators to earn her fourth save of the season.
USF was shutout for the first time since Feb. 19.
Team Notes

  • With tonight’s win, Florida is now 42-3 and still holds the highest win percentage (.933) in the country.
  • Florida is unbeaten in 30 non-conference games and has won 121 of 123 non-league games dating to the start of 2013.
    • In addition, the Orange and Blue are now 29-1 against in-state opponents since the start of 2014.
  • Florida’s senior class is now 215-31, which currently ranks seventh among four-year class records in program history.
  • Tim Walton is now just six wins away from his 600th win at Florida.
  • Wednesday’s game was broadcast on SEC Network+. Florida is now 22-2 in contests that are streamed online.
  • Florida is now 17-3 against Top 25-ranked teams.
  • USF is the fifth non-conference team ranked in the top 25 that the Gators have played this season.
    • Florida defeated Michigan, UCLA, Washington and Louisiana-Lafayette earlier this season.

Stat Watch

  • UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 270-43.
    • In 2015, UF had a plus-245 run differential (325-80) through 45 games.
    • In 2014, UF had a plus-196 run differential (295-99) through 45 games.
  • Florida’s 43 runs allowed through 45 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
    • UF’s 2009 squad allowed 40 tallies through 45 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 (0.82). For comparison, Florida had committed 27 errors through 45 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’s astounding 0.82 team ERA (290.2 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 .159 batting average against (290.2 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 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 45 games.

Pitching Notes

  • Aleshia Ocasio recorded her 100th strikeout of the season in the fourth inning during Wednesday’s contest.
  • Strikeout totals = Delanie Gourley – 145, Kelly Barnhill – 135, Aleshia Ocasio – 103
    • They are 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.
  • 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 = Aleshia Ocasio – 102.0, Delanie Gourley – 101.2,Kelly Barnhill – 87.0
    • Ocasio (136.0, 2015) and Gourley (107.2, 2014) have each achieved this feat once before in their careers.
  • Florida’s pitching trio has now combined to allow just 43 runs, while they have totaled 383 strikeouts. Both of those numbers lead the SEC.
    • Ocasio (0.48) 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).
  • Ocasio’s astounding 0.48 ERA (102.0 IP) would go down as the 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
  • Gourley earned her fourth save of the season in tonight’s game.
    • Florida’s left-hander is now just one save shy of her program-tying record she set a season ago with five.
  • Gourley’s astounding 0.76 ERA (101.2 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
  • Kelly Barnhill, who currently holds a miniscule 1.29 ERA, is challenging Stephanie Brombacher’s freshman record 1.40 ERA that she achieved in 2008.
    • Barnhill’s opponent’s batting average against her is an astounding .142 (87.0 IP) would go down as the best b/avg. in Florida history if the season ended today.
      • Jenny Gladding currently holds the top single season opponent batting average against in program history, as she recorded a .146 b/avg. in 2004.
  • Other freshman ranks that Barnhill is climbing into:
    • Wins – 6th (14)
    • Strikeouts – 4th (135)

Hitting Notes

  • Hitting Streak:
    • Aubree Munro – seven games (season long & three shy of career long)
  • Amanda Lorenz hit her fifth home run of the season to left-center field in the fifth inning on Wednesday.
  • Nicole DeWitt recorded fourth double of the season with a two-run double in the fifth inning.
    • DeWitt recorded her 11th multi-RBI game of the season.
  • Kelsey Stewart is now four total bases shy of Lauren Haeger‘s program record 494.
  • Aubree Munro is hitting .455 (10 for 22) over UF’s last 10 games with two homers, one double, one triple, six RBI and four runs scored.
  • Kayli Kvistad and Amanda Lorenz are challenging for the top on-base percentage in school history, as they each have recorded an OBP of .538 and .509 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 .391, 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 – 9th (42)
    • Doubles – T-7th (10)
    • Walks – 8th (33)

Coaches’ Corner
Head Coach Tim Walton:
On Wednesday’s game…
“I thought we made a good adjustment. Amanda (Lorenz) did a good job with a nice piece of hitting right after we struck out looking twice in a row. I think the big thing we’ve always talked to our players about is just no matter what the situation is, no matter how many outs, you’ve got an at bat left, you’ve got a strike left, you’ve got a pitch left, you’ve got a chance to still win a ballgame. It’s a very tough matchup when you go left on left. It was very tough on our lefties, you could see how tough it was on them with how good (Erica) Nunn threw tonight.”
Series History

  • Florida holds a dominating 44-15 series record over USF and has now won the past 10 match-ups between the two Florida-based institutions, including twice this season.
    • UF and USF last met on Feb. 14 in Tampa when the Gators run-ruled the Bulls, 11-1, in five innings.
  • Since Tim Walton became Florida’s head coach before the 2006 season, the Orange and Blue are now 21-2 vs. the Bulls.
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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, 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.