Roundup: No. 2 Gators no-hit No. 8 Baylor for softball win

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FILE— Kayli Kvistad gives teammates little gator chomps. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent] 2017.

Special to The Sun

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Florida softball team closed out the Judi Garman Classic in resounding fashion Saturday, as the combination of Kelly Barnhill and Aleshia Ocasio in the circle no-hit No. 8 Baylor, 4-0.

Barnhill (9-0) pitched six innings with 13 strikeouts for the Gators (19-1) before she was relieved by Ocasio.

Ocasio entered the circle with a 2-0 count on Maddison Kettler. Kettler then drew a walk to move a runner into scoring position for Baylor. From there, Ocasio struck out the next three Baylor (9-2) batters to complete the no-hitter.

Kayli Kvistad drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly and solo home run and Nicoloe DeWitt hit a two-run home run to suport the Gator pitchers.

Next up for the Gators is a SEC series against Kentucky next weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Lacrosse: At Chapel Hill, N.C., leading from wire-to-wire, No. 4 Florida (4-1) came out firing on all cylinders in the first half and thrashed No. 3 North Carolina, 17-10. The Gators have now earned victories in each of their last two trips to Chapel Hill.

Florida opened up a 7-2 lead with just under eight minutes left to play in the first half, ultimately taking a 9-5 lead into the locker room at halftime.

North Carolina (3-2) was never able to cut the Florida lead to less than three goals after UF’s flurry to open the game, with the Gators twice jumping to an eight-goal edge.

The Gator defense smothered the Tar Heels from the opening draw, limiting UNC to a season-low 10 goals. Junior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen set a Florida single-game record 16 saves.

Eleven goals from Shayna Pirreca and Lindsey Ronbeck (five goals) fueled UF’s offensive attack. Freshman Sabrina Cristodero was impressive on the defensive end of the field, shadowing UNC’s Marie McCool and limiting her to a .364 (4-for-11) shooting performance.

The Gators wrap up a stretch of four games in 11 days Wednesday, with a road test at No. 5 Syracuse (3-0) set for 2 p.m.

Women’s tennis: At Starkville, Miss., Florida coach Roland Thornqvist got exactly what he wanted from his Gators on his birthday – the end of a nine-match road trip that finished with a 4-0 win against Mississippi State.

The Gators opened the match winning the doubles point for the second consecutive outing. Florida won at the No. 1 position but lost at the No. 3 spot, leaving the deciding match in the hands of freshman McCartney Kessler and senior Josie Kuhlman.

The Gator tandem found itself receiving, down 5-4, in the match to six games, leading by two. Florida dug deep and got the break it needed before Kuhlman staved off triple-break point in the next game for a 6-5 Gator lead. The Bulldogs held and the final doubles match headed to a tiebreak, where the MSU took the first point and went to the baseline for the next two serves.

Florida won the next two points and Kessler held for a 3-1 lead before dropping her second serve. The Gators then won three straight points for a 6-2 cushion and earned one final mini-break to take the 7-6 (3) decision and the doubles point.

In singles action, senior Anna Danilina was first off the court with a convincing 6-0, 6-1 win.

The next two outcomes came within minutes of each other, as freshmen Victoria Emma and Kessler polished off team victory with straight set decisions and the Gators earned their fourth consecutive dual match win.

Men’s tennis: Florida (6-4) plays Tennessee (11-2) at 1 p.m. today in the Ring Tennis Complex.