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Florida wins pitchers' duel in victory at UCF

1697 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The No. 2-ranked Florida softball team (35-3) defeated UCF (24-14), 3-1, on Wednesday night at the UCF Softball Complex. Freshman Kelly Barnhill (13-0) allowed just one run on three hits with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.

Junior Delanie Gourley relieved the rookie in the sixth and tossed two scoreless innings to earn her third save of the season.

Florida bookended its scoring in Wednesday's midweek matchup as the Gators scored a pair of runs in the first inning and its final run in the seventh.

In the first, UF scored its two runs on only one hit as junior Chelsea Herndon and senior Taylore Fuller drove in those tallies on a fielder's choice and a walk with the bases loaded. In the seventh, Florida loaded the bases with no one out but only pushed one run across when Nicole DeWitt earned an RBI walk.

UCF threatened in the fourth when Barnhill walked the leadoff hitter, Brittany Solis, and UCF's Courtney Rotton followed with a single down the right field line to place runners on first and third with on no one out.

Barnhill was unfazed.

The rookie struck out the first hitter she faced after the single and then induced a 5-4-3 double play to get out of the inning without any damage.

One inning later the Knights didn't miss their chance.

UCF's Samantha McCloskey's led off the fifth by getting hit by a pitch and she moved to second on a fly out. Jasmine Acevedo then drove her teammate in with a single to right to cut the deficit to in half, 2-1.

After UCF earned a walk and single to begin the sixth, UF head coach Tim Walton made a pitching change and brought in left-hander Delanie Gourley.

The junior got out of the jam in the sixth without any damage and tossed a perfect seventh inning to record her third save of the season.

Series History

Florida now holds an 18-4 all-time record against UCF as these two schools have played at least once every season since 2008. In addition, UF now has a 6-2 mark against UCF in Orlando.

Next Up

UF continues this four-game road trip as the Gators travel to Ole Miss this weekend. The Rebels are receiving votes in both softball polls. All three games this weekend can be seen on SEC Network+.