FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Florida softball team capped off the series sweep of Arkansas with a 6-1 victory in the final game Sunday, April 2, at Bogle Park. The team recorded the third 10-plus hit game in its last four played.
The Gators (33-2, 10-1 SEC) fell behind 1-0 in the fourth inning as the Razorbacks (22-12, 2-10 SEC) took advantage of a rare Florida miscue. Kelly Barnhill's throw to Kayli Kvistad at first sailed high and allowed Autumn Russell to scamper home from third base. Russell reached earlier in the inning with Arkansas' first hit of the game.
Florida did not stay behind long in the scoring column as the team plated five runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to four-straight extra base hits, a pair of walks and a timely two-RBI single from Brooke Clemens.
Amanda Lorenz roped a two-out double to right center field and was brought home by Nicole DeWitt's double down the left field line. Immediately following DeWitt's at-bat Kvistad crushed a 2-2 pitch from Razorback hurler Autumn Storms for her fourth home run of the season to extend the lead out t 3-1.
Caroline Hedgcock, called in to relieve Storms after the Kvistad home run, issued back-to-back walks to Jordan Roberts and Janell Wheaton to load the bases. Sophomore Brooke Clemens had her number called with the bases loaded to pinch hit for senior Chelsea Herndon and delivered a two-RBI single to shallow right field for the 5-1 lead.
Barnhill wrapped up her day in the circle to issue just one hit and struck out seven Razorbacks while issuing no walks on just 72 pitches. Senior Delanie Gourley relieved Barnhill in the bottom of the sixth inning of play.
In the sixth inning, the Gators scratched across their final run of the contest. Senior Justine McLean registered her first triple of the season, second of her career, to lead off the inning. DeWitt later brought McLean home on a double down the left field line to put Florida ahead 6-1.
Gourley put the finishing touches on the contest to secure the sweep for the Gators. She recorded two innings of work and notched a pair of strikeouts with only one walk and one hit allowed.
The Gators return to action at home Wednesday, April 5, when the team takes on North Florida at 6 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
On how Florida has been able to put up double-digit hits in three of the last four games...
"We've got a lot of hitters that are putting a lot time into their swing and understanding what they do. The big key for them is just finding good pitches that they can hit. It doesn't matter if it's with two outs, two strikes or even the first pitch - I think we are just doing a good job of being patiently aggressive but still understanding our strengths and weaknesses." - Tim Walton