GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In a matchup of top-25 squads, the No. 1-ranked University of Florida softball team defeated No. 16 Tennessee, 5-0, on Friday night in the first home game of the Gators' Southeastern Conference schedule.
Sophomore Aleshia Ocasio (10-1) threw a complete game, two-hit shutout in front of a season-high crowd of 1,413. Thanks to a 1-6-3 double play in the second inning, Ocasio faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings of work. In addition, UF shut out UT for the first time since March 11, 2012 and blanked the Vols in Gainesville for the first time since May 7, 2011.
Florida jumped on Tennessee early with three runs on two hits in the bottom of the first inning. Seniors Kelsey Stewart and Kirsti Merritt kicked off the inning with a single and a walk to place runners on first and second base with no one out. Freshman Amanda Lorenz followed with her team-leading eighth double of the season, which scored Stewart.
After a sacrifice fly plated Merritt and moved Lorenz to third, the rookie came into score on an error by the UT catcher. UF scored its only other runs in the third inning when Aubree Munro recorded an RBI single and Merritt notched an RBI base on balls. The Vols had their best chance to score in the sixth, when UT had runners on first and third with one out. Ocasio bared down and forced back-to-back UT hitters to groundout and strikeout to end the inning.
Tennessee's Matty Moss (6-2) started and shouldered the loss, but was one of three pitchers to throw in the game for the Volunteers.
This series continues tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m. on SEC Network.