UF roundup: Florida softball routs Fordham, OSU
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:42 p.m.
KISSIMMEE — No. 1 Florida (19-0) earned a pair of wins at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic, defeating Fordham 9-2 and Ohio State 9-1 (6 innings) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
In the opener against the Rams, freshman Delanie Gourley pitched a complete game to improve to 6-0 on the season.
The lefty allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits over seven innings with one walk and eight strikeouts. Sophomore outfielder Kirsti Merritt provided an offensive spark with a pair of two-run home runs, and junior Lauren Haeger slugged a solo bomb. The Gators tallied four extra-base hits in the game, as second baseman Kelsey Stewart added a triple.
UF started quickly out of the gate when Stewart hit a leadoff single. She went first-to-third on Merritt's sacrifice, then scored on Haeger's RBI single to left.
Justine McLean started a three-run fourth inning with a walk, and then scored on Stewart's triple. That set the table again for Merritt, who delivered another home run to put the Gators ahead 6-0.
The Gators iced the win in the seventh. Haeger homered to lead off the frame before outfielder Jessica Damico walked after entering the game in the fifth as a pinch-runner.
Third baseman Stephanie Tofft then homered to right to bring in two runs and produce the final margin in Florida's 9-2 win.
UF earned its second mercy-rule victory of the season against Ohio State in the second game.
Stewart scored the game's first run in the opening frame when junior Bailey Castro was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Buckeyes tied the game a 1 on an RBI triple in the second, but Haeger gave the Gators the lead again in the third with a solo home run.
Florida extended its lead in the fifth with six runs. Stewart hit an RBI single before Haeger added a grand slam. Tofft singled later in the frame to score Castro, and Stewart sealed the victory in the sixth with a base hit that plated Munro to give the Gators a 9-1 lead, ending the game via mercy rule.
Florida plays host to No. 17 Texas A&M on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the final regular-season game for both teams.
Florida seniors Jaterra Bonds & Lily Svete will be honored in a postgame ceremony.