GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 2 University of Florida softball team opened the 2018 season with a 9-0 victory over Illinois State Friday afternoon at the USF Softball Stadium.
Senior Aleshia Ocasio combined with sophomore Katie Chronister and junior Kelly Barnhill in the circle to hurl the program's 23rd combined one-hitter. The last time the Gators achieved the feat was Feb. 26, 2017 against Lehigh at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic.
That was accomplished by the duo of Barnhill and former Gator Delanie Gourley.
Ocasio was in complete control against the Redbirds throughout her five innings of work. The 2016 NFCA All-American was perfect as she didn't allow a single runner to reach base and went on to finish her night with eight strikeouts over 63 total pitches.
Offensively, Florida cranked out four doubles, two triples and a home run in route to the victory.
The scoring for the Gators started in the second inning. Sophia Reynoso singled through the left side of the Illinois State defense, while sophomore Jaimie Hoover followed up with a sacrifice fly to right field that plated junior Alex Voss for a 2-0 lead.
Reynoso ended the game with a very productive 3-for-3 performance at the plate with a pair of RBI and a run scored.
Florida went on to score one run in the fourth on a double from freshman Hannah Adams. The Hoschton, Ga. native ripped her first collegiate hit to the gap in left center field to score Voss which extended the UF lead to 3-0.
Amanda Lorenz psuhed the Gators lead out to 4-0 via a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed senior Nicole DeWitt to streak home from third base. DeWitt put herself into scoring position via a one out triple to the gap in left center.
Lorenz capped her night with a pair of hits in three at-bats with an RBI, a run and a walk.
The Gators saved the best for the final inning of play. Four consecutive extra base hits to start the frame, highlighted by three-run home run from freshman Jordan Matthews, resulted in a four run inning. Roberts produced an RBI double to score Ocasio to start the big inning.
The Gators return to action Saturday morning with a pair of games against No. 18 Michigan (11 a.m.) and Georgia State (1:15 p.m.).