Special to GC
Freshman Delanie Gourley threw a no-hitter on Friday as Florida opened the NCAA Gainesville Regional with an 8-0 (5 innings) victory over Florida A&M. The Gators improved to 8-1 this season against in-state opponents with a win in the first game of the all-Florida regional.
Gourley retired the Rattlers in order in the first with two strikeouts and a groundout. Kelsey Stewart tripled to lead off for Florida (46-11), and came home on a sacrifice fly by Stephanie Tofft. The center fielder for FAMU (25-28) misplayed Tofft’s fly ball, allowing the senior to advance to second to set up a two-run home run by Lauren Haeger that put the Gators ahead 3-0. After Bailey Castro reached on a fielder’s choice and Kirsti Merrittsingled through the left side, Taylor Schwarz launched a three-run shot to left-center that pushed Florida’s lead to 6-0.
Gourley (14-1) allowed a leadoff walk in the second, but Aubree Munro caught the runner stealing before the lefty struck out the next two batters. Stewart singled and then stole second to begin the home half, then came home with UF’s seventh run on Tofft’s sac bunt.
FAMU had a baserunner in the third when the leadoff batter reached on an error. The Gators then retired the side with a popout and two strikeouts. Florida put two runners on in the home half when Kathlyn Medina reached on an error and Stewart beat out a two-out bunt single, but a groundout ended the inning.
The Rattlers’ leadoff hitter reached on an error in the fourth before a double play and a strikeout retired the side. Haeger singled to start the bottom of the inning, and pinch-runner Jessica Damico stole second before advancing to third on a flyout by Briana Little. Damico scored Florida’s eighth and final run on a one-out groundout by Justine McLean.
The visitors had one batter reach on a two-out error in the fifth before a groundout to Gourley completed her no-hitter, sealing Florida’s fourth consecutive win in Regional play.