GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Behind a complete-game and career-high tying 11 strikeout performance from junior Delanie Gourley, the No. 1 Florida softball team defeated FIU, 3-1, on the first day of UF's Aquafina Invitational.
The Lakeside, Calif. native (7-0) carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, but surrendered a one-out home run to Dominique Grossman to end her bid at perfection. The long ball was the first Florida's pitching staff had allowed this season and the first Gourley surrendered since May 1, 2015 at Missouri.
Tonight marked the second time this season that Gourley carried a perfect game bid into at least the fifth inning. At the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic two weeks ago, she allowed a single to right field when she was just three outs away from the perfecto.
UF had an 8-0 run-rule margin lead at the time.
Offensively, Florida was led by its underclassmen as Amanda Lorenz and Nicole DeWitt each recorded two hits. The freshman drove in the first run of the game and the sophomore scored the final tally in the sixth.
Florida scored in the first inning for the ninth-time this season when Lorenz rocketed a single to left field, which scored Kelsey Stewart. The senior got into scoring position after drawing a leadoff walk and moving to second on a fielder's choice.
UF added a run in the fifth when Janell Wheaton recorded her team-leading 22nd RBI of the season with a bases-loaded sac fly to right field.
After the aforementioned home run allowed by Gourley in the top of the sixth, Florida got that run back in the bottom half when DeWitt doubled, moved to third on a ground ball, and later scored on an error by FIU's first baseman.
FIU's Corrine Jenkins (1-3) shouldered the loss for the Panthers, but did record four strikeouts and allowed just three runs (two earned) in the game.
Florida continues its eight-game homestand tomorrow with its second and third games at the Aquafina Invitational. Over the weekend, UF will play FIU twice and have a single game against Illinois State, South Alabama and Florida A&M.