Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The second-seeded Florida softball team defeated Bethune-Cookman, 8-0, in six innings to open the NCAA Gainesville Regional Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Kelly Barnhill and Aleshia Ocasio combined for UF’s eighth no-hitter of the season en route to the victory.
Sophomore Jaimie Hoover spearheaded the offensive effort for the Gators (51-8) in the opening game of the Gainesville Regional. The Suwannee, Ga. native tied her career-high with five RBI after she produced a three-run home run in the second and a single in the third that plated two more runs.
Barnhill (27-1) picked up the victory in the circle over after striking out 10 Wildcats (31-25) through four innings of work. Ocasio entered in the fifth to close out the final two innings of the game. Ocasio tallied four strikeouts in relief for the combined no-hit shutout.
How It Happened
Jaimie Hoover tallied her fourth home run of the season with a line drive over the wall in center field. Aleshia Ocasio and Sophia Reynoso scored on the play.
Hoover came through again for the Gators and produced a two RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs. Ocasio and Janell Wheaton scored on the play.
Sophia Reynoso scored on a failed pickoff attempt by the Wildcats on a throw down the line to the bag at third.
Nicole DeWitt hit her 14th home run of the season to end the contest. DeWitt belted a two-run home run over the right field wall that scored Amanda Lorenz.
After tonight’s no-hit shutout against Bethune-Cookman, the Gators have only allowed one earned run over the last 107 innings of NCAA Regional play.
· Florida improved to 39-19 in NCAA Regional play and have now won the opening game for the six consecutive year.
· Kelly Barnhill picked up 10 strikeouts in tonight’s game against the Wildcats and struck out the side two times.
o She now has 16 games with 10 or more strikeouts and has struck out the side 32 times this season.
· The Gators have now produced 22 games with 10 or more strikeouts and hold a 22-0 record when doing so.
· Jaimie Hoover tied her career-high with five RBI in tonight’s game. The last time she produced five RBI was against South Carolina March 19, 2017.
· The last time that the Gators threw a no-hitter in the opening round of regional play was when Delanie Gourley no-hit Florida A&M to open the 2017 Gainesville Regional.
· Tonight was Florida’s 29th shutout of the season. The program currently leads the nation in the category.
The Gators return to action Saturday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m. against Ohio State. The Buckeyes defeated USF, 3-1, in their opening round game earlier in the day.