Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In the second game of the series, the Gators turned to a complete-game nine-strikeout performance from senior hurler Delanie Gourley to clinch the series over the Bulldogs at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Florida (36-2, 12-1 SEC) clinched its fifth SEC series of the season and jumped out in front early again thanks to the hot hitting of sophomore Amanda Lorenz. Lorenz doubled off the wall in left field to setup the following at-bats of Nicole DeWitt and Kayli Kvistad.
DeWitt hit behind Lorenz into a ground out to Jordan Doggett at second base to push Lorenz to third while Kvistad drove her home via her second SAC fly of the season on a ball lifted to the Georgia (27-12, 2-9 SEC) outfield.
Gourley (13-2) anchored the Gators defense from the circle as she struck out the Georgia side in the first and second innings. A three-up and three-down inning, all swinging strikeouts, started the contest and three more strikeouts, two swinging and one looking, to end the second frame after a Georgia single and walk.
The Gators strung together a series of hits in the bottom of the second after freshman Jaimie Hoover reached base with a one out walk. A fielder’s choice by Janell Wheaton and three-straight singles from McLean, Reynoso and Lorenz pushed the Florida lead out to 4-1.
Lorenz notched her 15th multi-hit game with a two RBI single through the right side and Reynoso contributed with an RBI single.
Defense continued to play a major role in the Gators success as Georgia had opportunities with runners in scoring position multiple times throughout the game. However, each time the Florida defense rose to the challenge.
Wheaton threw out her third Bulldog base runner of the weekend when Cortni Emanuel attempted to swipe her 16th base of the season with runners on the corners and one out in the third inning.
In the fourth inning, Reynoso made a flip to Hoover at third for the final out with runners on first and second. Then when facing a bases loaded threat in the fifth, Gourley fielded her position in the circle to make a force out on a throw at home then struck out the next Bulldog batter for the final out.
In the final frame, Gourley struck out a pair of Bulldogs to seal the victory.
The two teams will square off in the series finale Monday night inside Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at 7 p.m.
On Janell Wheaton’s performance behind the plate this weekend…
“She’s really been a tone-setter for us behind the plate. Today she had two nice swings at the plate then the two throw outs yesterday and the one today were as clutch as anything. To have first and third with arguably their (Georgia’s) two fastest runners on base and Janell threw a bullet, Sophia made a great tag and Nicole did a good job coming across. I’m very impressed with the way Janell has handled the softball with two elite level pitchers. They’re throwing quality pitches and she’s did a good job of being a quality backstop both today and yesterday.” – Tim Walton
From the Players
On the defensive play behind the circle…
“Oh yeah our defense is unreal. I love watching us at practice when the pitchers are kicked off so the rest of the team can do work. I love watching them. They’re so good. Janell threw a bullet and got the runner out at second, which was so clutch because stopped their momentum and brought it back our way, and so that was really key. That was just a really key play. Defense was great all around.” – Delanie Gourley
Overall thoughts on the clinching another SEC series tonight…
“Really big. Winning every series in the SEC is really big. Obviously, there’s a little bit of a rivalry so it’s a little better feeling, but winning every series is our goal and doing that in the SEC is really a big deal.” – Janell Wheaton
- The Gators secured its ninth-straight SEC series victory with the win tonight over Georgia – five so far this season in 2017 and four to end the 2016 season.
o The last series dropped occurred in 2016 against Alabama at home in Gainesville.
- Amanda Lorenz, who has reached now in all 38 games this season, is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak and produced her team-leading 15th multi-hit game of the year.
o Her streak started when she moved to the leadoff spot in the Gators batting order March 27, against Auburn.
o Her reached base safely streak extends all the way back to the 2016 season when she ended with an 18-game streak.
- Delanie Gourley pitched her 10th complete-game of the season. It’s the second-consecutive season she has 10 or more complete-game outings.
- The Gators improved to 13-1 against opponents ranked in the Top 25 and have held 12 of those opponents to one run or less.