FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COMMUNICATIONS
Top Of Lineup Fuels No. 2 Gators Offense In Victory Over Gamecocks
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The top of the University of Florida lineup produced five of the eight hits needed to win the series opening game 6-0 over South Carolina (19-8, 1-3 SEC) Friday, March 17 at Beckham Field.
Leading off for the first time this season, redshirt-freshman Sophia Reynoso roped a double over Tiara Duffy’s head in center field to set the tone for the Gators (24-1, 3-0 SEC) offense. Nicole DeWitt followed up with a full-count walk and Amanda Lorenz pushed the pair into scoring position with a dribbling ground ball to the pitcher for the initial out. Janell Wheaton pushed around her sixth RBI over the past two games with a ground out to second base that scored Reynoso while Jaimie Hoover produced her team-leading 27th RBI with a single to left field that scored DeWitt.
In the third, DeWitt sent a 2-1 pitch from Nickie Blue over the fence and protective netting in left center field to push the Gators lead out 3-0 over the Gamecocks. It was DeWitt’s third home run of the season and the Gators 22nd of the season.
With runners on the corners, Florida was able to manufacture a run with two outs on the board. Wheaton streaked for second base and was caught in a rundown long enough for Lorenz to score from third base. Wheaton completed the play when she slid under the tag at second base for her second stolen base of the season.
Yet to record an official at-bat in the contest, Kayli Kvistad drew her third walk of the game and 33rd of the season in the top of the fifth inning to set the Gators scoring chances in motion. Freshman Jacqui Switzer entered the contest to pinch run for the junior first baseman and quickly stole her eighth base of the season to move into scoring position.
In the very next at-bat Wheaton grounded into what would have been a 4-3 putout but Kaylea Snaer muffed the throw by Boesel, which allowed the speedy Switzer raced home to give Florida a 5-0 lead.
The top of the Gators lineup continued to produce in final inning of play as DeWitt recorded her second hit of the game on a ball into the left center field gap. Lorenz moved her over on a ground out to Drotar in the circle and Kvistad drove DeWitt home in the next at-bat on a 4-3 groundout to bring the score to 6-0.
Senior pitcher Delanie Gourley (10-1) recorded her 10th victory of the season with a two-hit effort and nine strikeouts.Kvistad has reached in every game this season (25) while Reynoso has reached in 23-straight games.
On how the top of the top of the lineup continues to produce…
“When you look at the number of hits that we had in the top three spots of the lineup, you see that they have five hits out of the eight hits on the night. I mean to me the on-base percentage has got to be high and we have find a way to
give our RBI hitters a chance to produce and I think that was clutch tonight.” – Tim Walton
Source- University of Florida Athletics