COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 1-ranked University of Florida softball team (46-3/16-3 SEC) defeated No. 22 Texas A&M (34-14/6-13 SEC), 14-3 (six innings), in the opener of the teams' three-game Southeastern Conference series on Friday at the Aggie Softball Complex. Eight different players recorded an RBI for the Gators and Delanie Gourley (16-2) earned the win as she recorded seven strikeouts and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in four innings pitched.
After Florida failed to score with the bases loaded in the first inning, UF didn't make that mistake in the second.
With runners at the corners and no one out, junior Justine McLean used her speed to put pressure on Texas A&M's defense to help Florida score the game's opening run. As McLean stole second base, a throwing error by the Aggies catcher allowed sophomore Janell Wheaton, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, to score and give the Gators an early 1-0 lead.
In the third, a two-run double by Wheaton and an RBI single by senior Taylore Fuller plated three runs to extend UF's lead over Texas A&M to 4-0.
Undaunted, TAMU answered with three runs over the next two innings.
In the fourth, the Aggies recorded three hits and took advantage of a Florida miscue to score a pair of runs. During the inning, Texas A&M's Tori Vidales and Kristen Cuyos recorded the RBI singles.
One inning later, Samanatha Show recorded her ninth home run of the season to pull the Aggies within one run (4-3), but that was as close as the Aggies would get.
The pair of runs in the third snapped a 22.2 scoreless innings streak by Florida's junior left-hander. In addition, Florida's fourth-inning error ended a streak of 28 consecutive innings without a defensive miscue.
Following the homer, Gourley was relieved by sophomore Aleshia Ocasio who worked two scoreless innings to earn sixth save of the season, which is a new single-season program record. During her three innings of work, Ocasio recorded two strikeouts and allowed just one hit.
Florida scored 10 runs in the sixth inning, its highest scoring output a single inning this season, to bring the game to its final score, 14-3.
That sixth inning outburst was highlighted by Ocasio's first-career double and an Amanda Lorenz grand slam. The bomb was Florida's second grand slam of the season and first of her career.