GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 1-ranked Florida shut out No. 20 Ole Miss for the third consecutive game in a 5-0 decision to complete the series sweep at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. It's the first time the Gators have shut out the Rebels in a three game series since the 2009 season.
Florida (44-3, 18-2 SEC) returned with sophomore Kelly Barnhill (20-0) in the circle in the final game and she hurled five innings before being relieved by junior standout Aleshia Ocasio for the final two innings of play. Barnhill struck out nine Rebels and issued only one walk with a pair of scattered hits on 73 pitches.
Ocasio capped the game with three strikeouts, one walk and one hit.
Ocasio's bat provided the first run of the game in the third inning. With the bases loaded, the junior placed a ball towards the Ole Miss shortstop Paige McKinney that allowed a speedy Justine McLean to score from third for a 1-0 lead in the contest.
In the very next inning, Kayli Kvistad cleared the bases with a two out three RBI double that hit off the top of the center field wall. It was Kvistad's 11th double of the season and third of the week.
The Gators loaded the bases a double from Sophia Reynoso, a walk from Amanda Lorenz and an infield single from Nicole DeWitt. Florida tallied three doubles in the game.
Freshman pinch hitter Jordan Roberts put the finishing touches on the Gators scoring efforts in the game with a sky-high SAC fly to left field with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Fellow freshman Jaimie Hoover reached via hit by pitch and moved to third thanks to a single by Chelsea Herndon and a walk by Reynoso.
Next up for Florida is an SEC series in Knoxville against the University of Tennessee for its final SEC series of the 2017 regular season. First game is set for Friday, April 28 at 6 p.m.
Coaches Corner On the team feeling fatigued and a break from midweek competition... "Yeah I mean we're heading into finals week, so it's really not a break. You're talking about a different fatigue, and I think that's what we're suffering from right now. It's just a little bit of final fatigue you know, just a little bit of academic stress. But overall, no excuses we have got to come out and be ready to go and take care of business. We're getting ready to play a great team, Tennessee, in Knoxville. It's a tough place for us to play, and we'll do everything in our power to prepare well this week and take care of our athletes." - Tim Walton