Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
ATHENS, Ga. – The Florida softball team concluded the series by defeating No. 10 Georgia, 5-1, at Jack Turner Stadium in front of a record crowd Sunday afternoon. Aleshia Ocasio (10-2) picked up the win with a complete-game performance where she struck out nine and issued zero walks.
The Gators (23-3, 4-2 SEC) put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh with three-run inning that was highlighted by a two-run home run by Amanda Lorenz. Hannah Adams scored earlier in the inning on an RBI single by Sophia Reynoso.
Florida struck first in the initial frame with a pair of two out hits from Kayli Kvistad and Jordan Matthews. Kvistad reached on an infield single that was knocked down by a diving Justice Milz. Matthews drove in Kvistad with a double that was hit high in the air and lost in the sun by Kendall Burton in right field.
Florida plated its second run of the game in the fifth inning to go ahead 2-0. Jordan Roberts reached after she was hit by the pitch. Alex Voss entered to run for Roberts and moved into scoring position via a Sophia Reynoso SAC bunt.
Voss scored on a Georgia miscue on a throw to third whenever Amanda Lorenz grounded out to first base for the second out.
The Bulldogs (26-2, 5-1 SEC) picked up their first base runner of the game in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Kendall put down a bunt single and beat out the throw from Ocasio. The runner never advanced as Ocasio induced a pop fly to Matthews in right field to end the inning.
Georgia put its first runner in scoring position in the sixth when Kay Harding placed a double down the right field line. Ocasio and the Gators bounced back to record three-straight outs to maintain the 2-0 lead heading into the seventh.
Down 5-0, the Bulldogs attempted to rally with a pair of two out hits and the Gators first fielding error of the game. A two-out double by Jessica Morgan gave Georgia a runner in scoring position. A single to left field soon followed and the error allow Morgan to race home for the Bulldogs lone run of the afternoon.
Next up for the Gators is a midweek clash this upcoming Wednesday against USF at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at 6 p.m.
On Aleshia Ocasio’s performance against a tough Georgia team…
”I think Georgia is as good of a team that we have seen all year long swinging the bat. Aleshia really did an outstanding job, going out and limiting them to probably only two hard hits all day long . We fought, we really fought today at the plate, but I really give Aleshia credit. She was the extra bat in the lineup, I felt like we were batting ten today instead of seven because she pitched such a great game.”
On what the team can take away from this weekend going into another week against Top 10 competition…
“You’re going to have to bring it every weekend in the SEC. Nobody feels sorry for you whenever you lose a game, so for us to come back and really keep the spirits right was good to see. I thought the attitude, energy and preparation was the same today as it has been all weekend. I thought our players were consistent and figured it out a little bit better today.”
· Florida now leads the all-time series against Georgia, 39-27, and holds an 18-9 record on the road.
o The Gators held Georgia to just one run in the final game of the series, which ties the season-low for runs scored in a game by the Bulldogs.
· Aleshia Ocasio threw her fourth complete-game of the season and third complete-game where she tallied at least eight strikeouts and zero walks.
o Ocasio was perfect
· Amanda Lorenz reached base safely for the 26th consecutive game after a two-run home run in the top of the seventh.
o Last year Lorenz reached safely in 66 of the 68 games played.
o That was her fifth home run of the season, which ties her for the team lead with Nicole DeWitt.
· Hannah Adams has reached base safely in 24 of the 26 games played this season after going 1-for-3 at the plate today.
o Adams has also scored at-least one run in 14 of the last 16 games, which includes scoring one run today against Georgia.