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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Florida clinches series with 6-1 victory over Ole Miss

1697 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. -- Senior's Taylore Fuller and Aubree Munro hit solo home runs, while sophomore Aleshia Ocasio earned her 13th win in the circle during Saturday's series-clinching win, as No. 3 Florida (37-3/11-3 SEC) downed Ole Miss (28-12/4-7 SEC), 6-1. The Ole Miss Softball Complex held a program-record crowd of 1,342 fans on Saturday night.

With tonight's win, Florida secured its 12th series victory in its last 13 matchups with the Rebels. In addition, Florida is now 11-3 in conference play, which is its best start since 2013 when the Gators began 12-2.

Florida wasted no time getting the lead on Saturday night as UF scored a pair of runs in the first inning on two hits. During that frame, UF loaded the bases with two outs and sophomore Janell Wheaton drove in two runs with a single up the middle.

Munro led off the second inning with her second solo home run in as many days to give UF a 3-0 advantage.

Later in the frame after Florida loaded the bases again, Kayli Kvistad recorded an RBI base on balls and Amanda Lorenz notched a sacrifice fly to score two more runs and give Florida a 5-0 lead after two innings.

Ole Miss scored its lone run in the third inning when Ashton Lampton drove in Kylan Becker, who led off the inning with an infield single and moved to third base on a Florida miscue.

UF scored Saturday's final run in the fifth inning when Fuller recorded her solo blast to left.

In the circle, Ocasio (13-1) threw a complete game and allowed just one run (unearned), while striking out seven and not walking a batter.

Team Notes

  • Florida is now 37-3, 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 38-2 mark.
  • After tonight's win, Florida is 11-3 in conference play, which is its best start since 2013 when the Gators began 12-2.
  • Florida earned its sixth shutout of SEC play on Saturday night. That's the most UF has had in a season since the Gators had seven in 2013.
  • Florida has shutout Ole Miss in three-straight contests for first time since UF blanked the Rebels four times between the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
  • Florida's senior class is now 210-31, 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 11 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 17-2 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.

Stat Watch

  • UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 241-39.
  • In 2015, UF had a plus-228 run differential (304-76) through 40 games.
  • In 2014, UF had a plus-173 run differential (264-91) through 40 games.
  • Florida's 39 runs allowed through 40 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
  • UF's 2009 squad allowed 35 tallies through 40 contests and Florida's last two NCAA Championship teams had allowed 75 runs each, respectively.
  • The Gators have made just 19 errors this season and currently sport one of the best fielding percentages (.982) and earned run averages in the nation (0.82). For comparison, Florida had committed 27 errors through 40 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 40 games.

Pitching Notes

  • Aleshia Ocasio is now just five strikeouts away from reaching 100 for the second-straight season.
  • Strikeout totals = Delanie Gourley - 122, Kelly Barnhill - 119, Aleshia Ocasio - 95
  • 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 two weeks ago at LSU.
  • Florida's pitching trio has now combined to allow just 39 runs, while they have totaled 336 strikeouts. Both of those numbers lead the SEC.
  • Ocasio (0.38) 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).
  • Ocasio's astounding 0.38 ERA (91.1 IP) would go down as the best ERA for a single season in Florida history if the season ended today.
  • Stacey Nelson currently holds the top two single season ERAs in program history, as she recorded a 0.61 ERA (285.1 IP) in 2009 and 0.75 (352.2 IP) in 2008.

Hitting Notes

  • Hitting Streak:
  • Amanda Lorenz - seven games (two shy of career long)
  • Kirsti Merritt - three games (ties season long)
  • Kelsey Stewart - three games (four shy of season long)
  • After recording two walks tonight, Nicole DeWitt has now reached base in eight-straight games (two shy of season long)
  • Janell Wheaton recorded her first two RBI in SEC play this season in the first inning of Saturday's game.
  • Aubree Munro, who entered this series without a hit in her last 22 at bats, is 3 for 4 this series with two home runs.
  • Taylore Fuller mashed her fourth home run of the season and her first since UF played at Auburn in mid-March.
  • Kayli Kvistad notched her second three-hit performance of the season.
  • Kayli Kvistad and Amanda Lorenz are challenging for the top on-base percentage in school history, as they each have recorded an OBP of .549 and .527 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 .407, 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 (31)

Coaches' Corner

Head Coach Tim Walton:

On Florida's offense...

"It was key that we were able to score a few runs early, but also with two outs. In the first inning tonight we had no one on with two out, and we were able to get some offense going. I thought that was huge. Overall, we just had some really nice at bats. In addition, when you're able to get out to a lead it really helps change your swings. When we're playing from ahead, it definitely makes a difference with our swings."

On the weekend overall and going forward...

"Obviously, our pitching staff has done a good job to be able to limit Ole Miss to just one run in two games. I'd like to see us complete a game all the way from offense, to defense, to pitching. I'd like to see us get ahead early, sustain it, and put our opponent away."

Series History

  • The Gators hold a 43-8 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 14 of the past 15 matchups between these two schools and Florida has now won 12 straight games over Ole Miss in Oxford.
  • In addition, Saturday's win clinched Florida's 12th series victory in its last 13 matchups with the Rebels.