The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

No. 1 Gators top Razorbacks 5-0

2845 days ago
Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The No. 1-ranked University of Florida (51-4/19-4 SEC) softball team saluted its senior class with a 5-0 win over Arkansas (17-38/1-22 SEC) on Saturday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The Gators scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning and junior Delanie Gourley (18-3) recorded a career-high 16 strikeouts and earned her 18th win in the circle.

Following the pregame Senior Day ceremonies, Gourley recorded eight strikeouts in her first three innings of work before the Gators exploded for four tallies in the bottom of the third.

Senior Kelsey Stewart and freshman Amanda Lorenz got things going with a pair of one-out singles. Sophomore Kayli Kvistad followed with a two-run single up the middle and senior Kirsti Merritt capped things off with her second home run in as many days, as she blasted a two-run bomb to left-center field.

Arkansas had its best chance to score in the top of the fifth inning when Loren Krzysko recorded a one-out double.

Unfazed, Gourley worked out of the jam with a popup and a groundout.

No other Razorback was able to get into scoring position.

UF scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when junior Justine McLean drove in sophomore Nicole DeWitt with a single up the middle.

Gourley, who recorded her fifth-double-digit strikeout game of the season, registered perhaps her best start of the season on Saturday. Florida's junior left-hander tossed a complete-game shutout while allowing just two hits and no walks in addition to her career-high 16 strikeouts.

Team Notes

  • With today's win, Florida is now 51-4 and still holds the highest win percentage (.927) in the country.
  • Florida's now won at least 50 games in four-straight seasons and 2016 is the eighth time in school history that UF has accomplished this feat.
  • Florida clinched its first SEC Championship during a home series for the first time since 1998.
  • Florida is now 19-4 in league play.
  • If the Gators sweep Arkansas this weekend, four losses would be tied with the Gators 2010 squad for the third fewest losses in conference play in school history.
  • On the flipside, Florida could win 20 SEC games for the seventh time in school history.
  • Florida's senior class is now 224-32, which currently ranks fourth among four-year class records in program history.
  • Sitting third on this list is UF's 2010 graduating class that went 225-42 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.
  • Saturday's game was broadcast on ESPNU. Florida is now 10-1 in contests that broadcast on national television.
  • Florida is now 30-0 this season against unranked opponents this season.

Stat Watch

  • UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 342-60.
  • In 2015, UF had a plus-283 run differential (395-112) through 55 games.
  • In 2014, UF had a plus-259 run differential (382-123) through 55 games.
  • Florida's 60 runs allowed through 55 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
  • UF's 2009 squad allowed 41 tallies through 55 contests and Florida's last two NCAA Championship teams had allowed more than 110 runs each, respectively.
  • The Gators have made just 25 errors this season and currently sport one of the best fielding percentages (.983) and earned run averages in the nation (0.91). For comparison, Florida had committed 28 errors through 55 contests last season and had a fielding percentage of .980. UF went on to record a .981 fielding percentage and commit just 33 errors, which are both school records.
  • Florida's astounding 0.91 team ERA (362.2 IP) would go down as the third-best ERA for a single season in program history if the season ended today.
  • Top ERA Season's in UF History:
  • 2008 - 0.92 ERA (512.0 IP)
  • 2009 - 0.69 ERA (444.0 IP)
  • Florida's miniscule .158 batting average against (362.2 IP) would go down as the best b/avg. for a single season in program history if the season ended today.
  • Top B/Avg. Season's in UF History:
  • 2008 - 0.176 b/avg. (512.0 IP)
  • 2009 - 0.161 b/avg. (444.0 IP)
  • UF did not allow a stolen base on Saturday, remaining the only team in the SEC who has yet to allow more than four stolen bases in 2016.
  • In addition, four stolen bases is the fewest Florida has allowed in school history through 55 games.
  • Florida's opponents have only attempted to steal 10 bases against Aubree Munro and Florida's catchers this season. That mark would shatter Florida's school record of 25 attempts that was set in 2015.
  • In addition, UF's stolen-base-against percentage of 40% (4-10) this season would be the lowest in school history if the season ended today. Florida's 2003 team currently holds that mark as they allowed just 51.7% (31-60) of runners to steal a base safely.

Pitching Notes

  • Aleshia Ocasio (19-1), Kelly Barnhill (14-0) and Delanie Gourley (18-3) are looking to become the first trio in school history to all record at least 15 wins in a season.
  • Ocasio and Gourley are trying to become the fifth set of teammates to each record 20 wins in a single season.
  • 2011 - Hannah Rogers (36-8), Stephanie Brombacher (20-3)
  • 2009 - Stacey Nelson (41-5), Stephanie Brombacher (22-0)
  • 2008 - Stacey Nelson (47-5), Stephanie Brombacher (20-0)
  • 2000 - Renise Landry (21-11), Beth Dieter (20-16)
  • Barnhill has the opportunity to join Stephanie Brombacher (2008: 20-0, 2009: 22-0) as only two pitchers to record at least 10 wins in a season and not have a loss.
  • Gourley (202), Barnhill (147) and Ocasio (127) are the second trio in school history to all record 100+ strikeouts in a season. They are trying to become the first trio in school history to all record 125+ strikeouts in a season.
  • UF is the only school in the nation with 3 different pitchers with at least 100 strikeouts this season!
  • Gourley and Barnhill are trying to become the fifth set of teammates to each record 150+ strikeouts in a single season.
  • 2015 - Lauren Haeger (214), Aleshia Ocasio (155)
  • 2009 - Stacey Nelson (357), Stephanie Brombacher (190)
  • 2004 - Jenny Gladding (217), Stacey Stevens (162)
  • 2000 - Renise Landry (200), Beth Dieter (158)
  • Florida's trio of pitchers are looking to become the second group to all throw at least 100 innings in a single season.
  • UF's 2002 group of Amanda Moore (174.2 IP), Amanda Knowles (113.2) and Mandy Schuerman (105.0 IP) last achieved this feat.
  • Innings pitched totals = Delanie Gourley - 138.2, Aleshia Ocasio - 128.0, , Kelly Barnhill - 96.0
  • Ocasio (136.0, 2015) and Gourley (107.2, 2014) have each achieved this feat once before in their careers.
  • Florida's pitching trio has combined to allow just 60 runs, while they have totaled 476 strikeouts. Both of those numbers lead the SEC.
  • Only two teams in Florida history have ever allowed less than 100 runs in a single season. UF's 2009 squad allowed just 67 runs and its 2008 team allowed 94 tallies.
  • Florida's 476 strikeouts currently ranks third all-time in program history for strikeouts in a single season.
  • Ocasio (0.71) and Gourley (0.76) have the No. 3 and No. 4 ERAs in the country and Barnhill is 11th with a 1.39 earned run average.
  • Historically, UF is trying to join its own 2009 squad and South Carolina's 1997 team as the only SEC teams to ever finish a season with two pitchers in the top-five nationally in ERA. In addition, UF has a chance to join FSU's 1993 squad as the only teams to finish a season with three pitchers in the top 10.
  • Gourley's astounding 0.76 ERA (138.2 IP) would go down as the third-best ERA for a single season in Florida history if the season ended today. In addition, Gourley's opponent's batting average against her is an astounding .142 (138.2 IP), which would be the best in school history as well.
  • 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 20
  • Jenny Gladding currently holds the top single season opponent batting average against in program history, as she recorded a .146 b/avg. in 2004.

Hitting Notes

  • Hitting Streaks:
  • Kelsey Stewart - 10 games (season long)
  • Amanda Lorenz - seven games (three shy of season long)
  • Kayli Kvistad - four games
  • Kirsti Merritt hit her 36th career home run on Saturday afternoon, which ties her for seventh all time in Florida history.
  • After scoring one run on Saturday, Kelsey Stewart set the school record for runs scored in a career with 254 as she passed Aja Paculba.
  • Kayli Kvistad and Amanda Lorenz are challenging for the top on-base percentage in school history, as they each have recorded an OBP of .521 and .522 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 .396, 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:
  • Runs Scored - 5th (52)
  • Hits - 5th (63)
  • Doubles - T-2nd (13)
  • Walks - 2nd (42)

Senior Day Quotes

Head Coach Tim Walton:

On today's game...

"Arkansas' Grace Moll threw some good stuff out there, she's got a good change up and threw it in there hard when she needed to. I thought we did a good job at making adjustments and getting some hits there. Kirsti did a good job offensively with getting us a few RBI early on. Overall, it was an emotional day and I thought we did a good job being able to pick those seniors up and play hard for them. Our players in the dugout even did a good job of keeping the intensity up. As a senior, it can be really easy to let your mind wonder and think, 'this could be my last at bat' or any other distraction. Our girls in the dugout did a good job at keeping them focused.

On winning the SEC...

"It was good to be able to showcase the SEC Championship in front of our home crowd. And we won it today. The ability and the feeling you get when you're able to come out and win an SEC title on your own field is really special."

Kirsti Merritt

"Today was really emotional -- it's almost indescribable. At the end of the game, all of us seniors were sitting on the bench together and we saw what next year's lineup could look like. It was a surreal moment which brought out the emotions."

Taylor Schwarz

"It was really cool that all of our families were able to make it because some of them are from out of town. For them to be here, in addition to the support we've gotten over these past four years, and for all of these incredible fans to come out and support, the culmination of it all today was really special."

Aubree Munro

"It was really special seeing so many former Gators coming back to support us today. This whole day has been a rollercoaster of emotions. When each of us seniors started to get called off the field, it was almost like 'Coach, you can't be pulling everyone off the field already, it's not over yet.'"

Taylore Fuller

"We're not a very emotional group, but today it kind of sunk in and hit us that we're all seniors and graduating. It was nice to acknowledge for ourselves, for our class, and this program. Overall, it was a really good day."

Kelsey Stewart

"Today was very fitting. After clinching the SEC yesterday, we were able to come out today relaxed and have fun while enjoying the day. For us to be able to come out today and alongside each other, these coaches, our teammates, and bring these fans an SEC Championship, it was great."

Series History

  • Florida leads the all-time series with Arkansas, 43-10; that includes a 23-5 advantage in Gainesville.
  • UF has defeated UA 23 straight times, which is Florida's second-longest winning streak over an SEC team in school history. UF's top streak is 28 when UF beat South Carolina from April 13, 2003 through May 4, 2013.

Next Up

  • This series concludes tomorrow afternoon at 1 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.