#6 Florida and #11 South Carolina faced off on Orange and Blue Weekend at the University of Florida campus. The weather forecast for Sunday forced a Saturday double-header, but the Gators earned a sweep of the series. Florida topped the Gamecocks 3-1 on Friday and swept the double-header by scores of 7-0 and 3-0.
FLORIDA 3, SOUTH CAROLINA 1
Gainesville, FL– On Friday night, the Gators offense supplied pitcher Kelly Barnhill with some early run support, and Barnhill did her thing as Florida earned the series opening victory over the Gamecocks.
Hannah Adams, batting leadoff for the first time since conference play started, began the game with a four-pitch walk and eventually scored on a passed ball by South Carolina pitcher Cayla Drotar.
The Gators got another run in the second inning when centerfielder Alex Voss doubled to left over the drawn in outfield. Voss was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple, but Sophia Reynoso scored before the out, and the Gators took the 2-0 lead.
Nicole DeWitt (1-1, HR, BB) had the highlight of the night with a home run to center that was very nearly caught by SC RF Tiara Duffy.
Barnhill was cruising through the game, having not allowed a base hit until the final inning when Duffy double to right-center to score Kennedy Clark, who had walked and stolen second just before.
Barnhill finished with a complete game one-hitter while striking out thirteen and walking four.
W: Barnhill (18-1)
L: Drotar (15-3)
SATURDAY (GAME ONE):
FLORIDA 7, SOUTH CAROLINA 0
Gainesville, FL– Florida earned the series win with a 7-0 victory in the first game of the Saturday double-header against South Carolina.
After a scoreless first frame, the Gators scored a pair of runs in the second inning when Jordan Roberts singled to the wall in left-center to plate Janell Wheaton and Jordan Matthews.
Florida added another three runs in the third inning highlighted by Nicole DeWitt’s single that scored Hannah Adams. Aleshia Ocasio, then perfectly executed a squeeze play that scored DeWitt from third to increase the lead to 5-0.
Florida tacked on two runs in the fourth to put the game away.
Ocasio tossed a complete game, allowing only two hits. In the second inning, Ocasio got out of a bases loaded jam by striking out USC pinch hitter Alyssa Kumiyama.
The Gamecocks were handcuffed when scoring opportunities occured going 0-3 with runners in scoring position and 2-6 with chances to advance runners at all.
W: Ocasio (15-5)
L: Cayla Drotar (15-4)
SATURDAY (GAME TWO):
FLORIDA 3, SOUTH CAROLINA 0
Gainesville, FL– Florida earned the double-header (and series sweep) thanks to another complete game one-hitter by Kelly Barnhill and a walk-off, three run homer by Nicole DeWitt.
The final game of the series was a true pitcher’s duel. Barnhill and USC freshman Kelsey Oh dominated the opposing hitters all game.
Despite the dominance in the circle, the Gators #1 and #2 hitters were able to get on base frequently. Freshman Hannah Adams, batting leadoff, went 3-4 while Amanda Lorenz earned three walks. Both scored on DeWitt’s homer.
For DeWitt, the home run was her team leading tenth of the year and the first of the walk-off variety of her career.
Barnhill improved to 19-1 on the season and managed to pitch two complete games in the series while only allowing a potent USC lineup two hits in 14 innings of work.
W: Barnhill (19-1)
L: Oh (10-3)
The Gators are now 37-7 overall and 12-3 in conference play with only three series (nine games) remaining in conference, regular season play. Florida will face Florida A&M (19-23, 11-1) on Wednesday at 6:00 PM before traveling to Starkville, MS for a conference tilt against Mississippi State (30-11, 4-8) beginning Friday.