COLUMBIA, Mo. – The fourth-ranked Florida softball team clinched its seventh Southeastern Conference series with a 5-0 win Saturday over Missouri.
Aleshia Ocasio (17-6) hurled her sixth shutout of the season after striking out 10 Tigers (28-26, 6-16 SEC) in the complete-game effort.
Missouri threatened to score in the bottom of the third inning. Callie Martin doubled and advanced to third on a misplay in right field to lead off the frame. Ocasio battled back to strikeout the side and eliminate the scoring threat to preserve the scoreless tie.
Florida (46-8, 19-4) manufactured its first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Jaimie Hoover gave UF the 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Nicole DeWitt from third.
Amanda Lorenz started the rally with a single up the heart of the Tigers infield, but was later erased on DeWitt fielder’s choice. Kayli Kvistad followed up with a walk and Janell Wheaton was hit by a 2-1 pitch to load the bases for Hoover.
A pair of solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings pushed the Florida lead out to 4-0. Jordan Roberts belted her fourth home run of the year in the sixth while Lorenz crushed her eighth in the seventh.
The Gators picked up one more insurance run to bring the score to 5-0. Hoover sent a routine ground ball out to Braxton Burnside at shortstop for what would have been the final out but Burnside’s flip to Brooke Wilmes at second was off the mark which allowed DeWitt to race home.
Florida goes for the series sweep at 3 p.m. (SEC Network) Sunday.