GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The No. 1-seeded University of Florida softball team clinched a berth in the NCAA Gainesville Regional final with a 5-0 win against UCF Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior left-hander Delanie Gourley pitched her second career postseason shutout, dealing 13 strikeouts and limiting the Knights to just one hit on the afternoon as the Gators won their 11th consecutive NCAA Regional game dating back to 2013.
Gourley (19-3) was on fire, emerging on top of the pitcher's duel in the circle with her ninth shutout and 12th complete game this season, while Shelby Turnier (21-17) shouldered the loss for UCF.
Freshman Amanda Lorenz tagged a one-out Turnier offering over the right-center fence in the top of the third for Florida's first run and the Gators wouldn't look back as they blanked their ninth straight regional opponent since 2013 and held UCF to just one run in the two meetings between the clubs this season.
Jessica Ujvari accounted for the Knight's lone hit in the bottom of the fourth, but UCF couldn't capitalize on the momentum.
The Orange and Blue added insurance runs in both the fifth and seventh innings, two thanks to senior Aubree Munro, who bounced an RBI single through the left side in the fifth and sent a one-run single up the middle in the seventh. Classmates Taylore Fuller and Kelsey Stewart both tacked on RBIs in a three-run seventh for the 5-0 final.
The Gators now await their Sunday opponent, which will be the winner of the Game 5 elimination game slated for 5 p.m. from KSP Stadium Sunday evening.
- The Gators are now 71-33 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 34-18 record in Regionals. During Tim Walton's tenure as head coach, UF is 66-21 in NCAA play and 29-6 in Regionals.
- UF has now won 11 straight Regional contests.
- Florida now owns 30 shutouts in 2016.
- The Orange and Blue are now 32-1 against in-state opponents since the start of 2014.
- Saturday's game was broadcast on ESPN2. Florida is now 12-2 in contests that broadcast on national television.
- Florida is now 35-0 this season against unranked opponents this season.
- UF improved to 21-1 in neutral site games this season.
- Following Saturday's shutout victory over the Knights, Florida has not allowed a run in 18-straight innings. In addition, the Gators are now error-free in 45-consecutive innings.
- UF has now outscored its opponents this season, 368-62.
- In 2015, UF had a plus-303 run differential (417-114) through 60 games.
- In 2014, UF had a plus-295 run differential (420-125) through 60 games.
- Florida's 62 runs allowed through 60 games is the second fewest in school history through this point in any season.
- UF's 2009 squad allowed 50 tallies through 60 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 (.984) and earned run averages in the nation (0.87). For comparison, Florida set school records last season with a .981 fielding percentage and just 33 errors committed.
- Florida's astounding 0.87 team ERA (393.2 IP) would go down as the second-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 .153 batting average against (393.2 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 five stolen bases in 2016.
- Florida's opponents have only attempted to steal 11 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 45% (5-11) 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.
- Delanie Gourley's 13 strikeouts against the Knights tied for her second-highest output this season.
- Florida's pitching trio has combined to allow just 62 runs, while they have totaled 523 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 523 strikeouts currently ranks second all-time in program history for strikeouts in a single season.
- Hitting Streaks:
- Amanda Lorenz - three games
- Janell Wheaton - two games
- Kirsti Merritt - two games
- Taylore Fuller - two games
- Justine McLean - one game
- Aubree Munro - one game
- Freshman Amanda Lorenz accounted for Florida's first run of the afternoon with her eighth bomb this season, which ties for second on the team
Head Coach Tim Walton:
On the senior leadership from Aubree Munro...
"It's a lot more fun when Aubree Munro is getting hits and when Taylore Fuller is getting hits. They work so hard, they're so competitive and they get down on themselves, so when they can find any ounce of success offensively, we're going to be tough to beat. It turns that lineup over and gives those with the big numbers at the top of the lineup more opportunities to go up and hit."
On the momentum defensively and with Delanie Gourley in the circle ...
"I thought Nicole (DeWitt) really set the tone early on their first batter and made a nice play over her shoulder, Aubree (Munro) made a nice play on a bunt and Taylore Fuller got a funny squib change-up ball sent to her and made a play. Delanie is the key there. Delanie really commanded how that tempo went. She was really, really special today."
- Florida now holds a 19-4 all-time record against UCF as these two schools have played at least once every season since 2008. In addition, UF now has an 11-2 mark against UCF in Gainesville.
- After Saturday's tilt, UF is now 7-2 against UCF in postseason play.
Florida will face the winner of Saturday night's elimination game in the regional final on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET. If necessary, a second game would be played at 2:30. Live video of the game(s) will be available on ESPN3