The No. 6/8 Gator Softball team defeated Florida A&M, 9-0 (5 innings) on Friday (April 11) at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium. Freshman lefty Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.) threw a one-hit shutout with just one walk and seven strikeouts to run her record to 12-1 on the season. Three players had multiple hits for the Gators (36-8), who won their fifth consecutive game.
After Gourley fanned three Rattler hitters and one FAMU batter reached on an error in the top of the first inning, the Gator offense started quickly. Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) led off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle. The sophomore then stole second base and came home on an RBI single by Stephanie Tofft(Lincoln, Calif.). Florida continued its early rally with a run-scoring base hit from Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) that plated Tofft.
Florida’s southpaw retired FAMU in order in the second. Junior Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) hit a one-out single and stole second base, but was stranded as the Gators went scoreless in the frame.
The Rattlers drew a one-out walk in the third, but Gourley stranded the runner at second. The Orange and Blue erupted for six runs in the bottom of the frame, sending 11 batters to the plate. The big inning began with a single from Tofft, who scored two batters later on an RBI single up the middle by Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.). Following a walk to Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and a single by Briana Little(Middleburg, Fla.), Taylore Fuller broke the game open with a grand slam to center that made the score 7-0 in favor of the Gators.
UF’s breakout inning continued with a single from Stewart, who was lifted for pinch-runner Chelsea Herndon(Carrollton, Texas). The freshman stole second and then scored two batters later on Tofft’s second run-scoring single of the game. Once the Gators were retired in the third, Gourley allowed FAMU its only hit of the contest on a well-placed single up the middle. Shortstop Kathlyn Medina (Downey, Calif.) made an impressive play to get to the ball, but could not throw the runner out in time.
Florida added another run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by pinch-hitter Justine McLean (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), who batted in place of Medina. Gourley finished off the one-hit shutout with a 1-2-3 fifth inning, including her seventh strikeout of the night as the Gators earned their ninth mercy-rule victory of the year.