OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Florida softball team (36-3/10-3 SEC) defeated Ole Miss (28-11/4-6 SEC), 8-0, in the opener of the teams' three-game Southeastern Conference series on Friday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. Four different players hit home runs for the Gators and junior Delanie Gourley (11-2) threw a complete-game shutout and recorded seven strikeouts while yielding two hits and four walks.
Florida hit four home runs in a game for the first time since March 22, 2015 against Mercer.
Solo home runs were the story early, as Aubree Munro, Kayli Kvistad and Amanda Lorenz all hit solo shots in the second and third innings, respectively.
In the fourth, senior Kirsti Merritt joined the party as she hit a three-run shot to extend Florida's lead over Ole Miss to 6-0. Munro and junior Justine McLean set the table for that home run as Munro was hit by a pitch and McLean singled with one out.
Kvistad and Merritt now lead the team with six home runs on the season.
UF added two runs in the sixth inning to bring Florida to its run-rule lead of 8-0.
After Florida loaded the bases with no one out, Kvistad recorded an RBI fielder's choice and Nicole DeWitt notched an RBI single to right to drive those two tallies in for the Gators.
Defensively, Munro flashed her brilliance behind the plate on Friday night as she caught two Rebels trying to steal second base and picked off an Ole Miss runner as well.
Ole Miss entered Friday's contest 106 for 123 on the season in stolen base attempts. The Rebels were 0 for 2 on Friday night.
- Florida is now 36-3, which is tied for the second best start to a season in school history with its 2013 and 2009 squads.
- UF began the 2008 season with 37-2 mark.
- After tonight's win, Florida is 10-3 in conference play, which is its best start since 2013 when the Gators began 11-2.
- UF recorded its first run-rule win over an SEC team this season and its first since the Gators defeated Texas A&M, 9-1, on April 26, 2015.
- Florida's senior class is now 209-31, which currently ranks eighth among four-year class records in program history.
- Sitting seventh on this list is UF's 2013 graduating class that went 211-45 throughout its four seasons.
- Taylore Fuller, Kirsti Merritt, Aubree Munro, Taylor Schwarz and Kelsey Stewart are trying to catch UF's 2011 class which boasted a 238-33 mark during their four years.
- Tim Walton is now just 12 wins away from his 600th win at Florida.
- Walton earned his 700th career win on March 12 at Auburn.
- Friday's game was streamed online on SEC Network+. Florida is now 16-2 in contests that are streamed online this season.
- UF enters this week not ranked No. 1 in either Top 25 poll for the first time since April 7, 2015.
- UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 235-38.
- In 2015, UF had a plus-215 run differential (288-73) through 39 games.
- In 2014, UF had a plus-171 run differential (260-89) through 39 games.
- Florida's 38 runs allowed through 39 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
- UF's 2009 squad allowed 33 tallies through 39 contests and Florida's last two NCAA Championship teams had allowed 70 runs each, respectively.
- The Gators have made just 18 errors this season and currently sport one of the best fielding percentages (.982) and earned run averages in the nation (0.84). For comparison, Florida had committed 27 errors through 39 contests last season and had a fielding percentage of .973. UF went on to record a .981 fielding percentage and commit just 33 errors, which were both school records.
- UF did not allow a stolen base on Friday, remaining the only team in the SEC who has yet to allow more than three stolen bases in 2016.
- In addition, three stolen bases is the fewest Florida has allowed in school history through 39 games.
- Strikeout totals = Delanie Gourley - 122, Kelly Barnhill - 119, Aleshia Ocasio - 88
- They are looking to become the second trio in school history to all record 100+ strikeouts in a season.
- UF achieved this feat last season when Lauren Haeger (214), Aleshia Ocasio (155) and Delanie Gourley (105) all reached the century mark.
- Barnhill became the fifth Gator freshman in six years to record 100+ strikeouts last weekend at LSU.
- Florida's pitching trio has now combined to allow just 38 runs, while they have totaled 329 strikeouts. Both of those numbers lead the SEC.
- Ocasio (0.42) and Gourley (0.78) entered this weekend with the No. 1 and No. 3 ERAs in the country and Barnhill is fourth in strikeouts per game (10.8).
- Gourley ran her scoreless innings streak to 8.0 with six shutout innings on Friday. Her season long is 27.0 and her career long streak is 29 innings.
- Gourley's astounding 0.78 ERA (89.1 IP) would go down as tied for third-best ERA for a single season in Florida history if the season ended today.
- 3rd - Jenny Gladding (0.78)
- 2nd - Stacey Nelson (0.75)
- 1st - Stacey Nelson (0.61)
- Florida hit four home runs in a game for the first time since March 22, 2015 in game two of a doubleheader against Mercer in Gainesville. In game one of that doubleheader was the last time that four different Gators homered in one game.
- Hitting Streak:
- Amanda Lorenz - six games (three shy of career long)
- Aubree Munro's second inning homer was her first of the season and her sixth of her career.
- It was Munro's first long ball in over a year as she last hit a homer on March 28, 2015 at Mississippi State.
- Kayli Kvistad hit her sixth home run of the season in the third, which matches her season total from her freshman season in 2015.
- Kirsti Merritt hit her sixth homer of the season as well, but the long ball the 34th of her career.
- Amanda Lorenz powered her third home run of the season and her first since she hit one at Auburn on March 13, 2016.
- Kvistad and Lorenz are challenging for the top on-base percentage in school history, as they each have recorded an OBP of .532 and .528 thus far this season.
- Bailey Castro set the program record a season ago when she reached base at a .536 clip.
- Amanda Lorenz, who's currently hitting .405, is on pace to record the highest batting average for a freshman in school history. In addition, she could become the first rookie in program history to have an on-base percentage over .500.
- Kelsey Stewart holds the batting title as she hit .378 during her freshman season in 2013.
- Other freshman ranks that Lorenz is climbing into:
- Doubles - T-7th (10)
- Walks - 9th (30)
Head Coach Tim Walton:
On Florida's offensive performance...
"We hit the ball hard tonight and that was good to see. I thought Aubree, who hit her first homer of the season tonight, hit the ball hard where it was pitched. That was the key tonight, each ball we hit tonight was hit where it was pitched. And when we didn't hit the ball where it was pitched, that was when we made some outs tonight. Overall, I thought we hit the ball solid and set a nice tone from the get-go tonight."
On Aubree Munro...
"Aubree (Munro) really set the tone for us tonight. For example, we give up a hit in the first inning and she just throws a strike to second base when they tried to steal on her. She was also in the first she was able to pick somebody off in the first and she threw another baserunner out in the second. She really is the quarterback of our defense. She single-handedly influenced the running game and short game of Ole Miss tonight. Aubree really led by example tonight and set the tone for us."
- The Gators hold a 42-8 all-time record against the Rebels as these two schools have played at least once every year since 1998 until last season. In addition, UF has won 13 of the past 14 matchups between these two schools and Florida has now won 11 straight games over Ole Miss in Oxford.
This series continues tomorrow afternoon at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ and it can be heard on Florida Sports Talk (WGGG-AM & WMOP-AM/FM. Live stats links for the contest can be found on the Gators' schedule page.