The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
SEC TOURNAMENT - QUARTERFINAL AT STARKVILLE MS

No. 1 Florida advances after lengthy rain delay

39 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Florida Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss -- No. 1 seed Florida got off to a hot start against No. 9 seed Ole Miss, courtesy of freshman pitcher Kelly Barnhill. Barnhill struck out four of the first six batters she faced in the Gators second round game against the Rebels.

The hot streak cooled in the top of the 3rd inning as the clouds rolled in and the game was suspended due to weather, with no runs on the board. The delay lasted a total three hours and fifteen minutes before the teams could retake the field.

With no scoring through four innings, Florida coach Tim Walton made wholesale defensive changes in the fifth, shuffling every infield position and bringing in Aleshia Ocasio to pitch. After walking her first batter, Ocasio gets Grayce Majam to line into a double play to end the fifth.

The Gators offense ignited in the bottom of the fifth with lead-off batter Kelsey Stewart legging out a double, then advancing to third on a Rebels' fielding error. Stewart ultimately became the Gators first and only run of the game after scoring on an Ole Miss passed ball.

Barnhill and Ocasio combined for eight strikeouts in a one-hit shutout. It's Florida's 28th shutout of the season.  The Gators have beaten the Rebels 16 out of the last 17 games.

NEXT UP: No. 1 seed Florida plays in the Semifinal round tomorrow against the winner of No. 4 seed Auburn and No. 5 seed Alabama. The game will be played at 5:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm CT on ESPNU.