Special to the Sun
Quality pitching, explosive offense and solid defense paved the way to two wins Saturday for the Florida softball team over Maryland, 12-0, and Iowa State, 8-0, on the second day of the Aquafina Invitational at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Kelly Barnhill, Aleshia Ocasio and Natalie Lugo spearheaded Florida’s efforts in the circle. Barnhill threw her fourth career no-hitter, second of the season, against Iowa State, while Ocasio pitched three perfect innings against Maryland. Lugo allowed only one hit to the Terps through two innings of work.
The Gators opened the day with a resounding win over Maryland (3-10). A pair of four-run innings coupled with a pair of two-run innings in the closing frames powered the rout of the Terrapins.
Florida jumped out in front, 4-0, with a bases clearing double by Kayli Kvistad and eventually was brought home via a SAC fly by Ocasio.
Florida made a quick turnaround to play its second game of the day against Iowa State. The Gators also scored quickly as the team plated two runs in the first inning against the Cyclones to go up 2-0. A pair of extra-base hits by Janell Wheaton and Amanda Lorenz jumpstarted the scoring. Nicole DeWitt doubled with one out and was immediate brought home on Lorenz’s second triple of the season.
Wheaton drove home Lorenz via a SAC fly to right field to close out the scoring in the first.
Next up for the Gators (14-1) is a rematch with Iowa State (7-6) at 11 a.m. today and will close out the Aquafina Invitational against Georgia Southern at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.
SEC Indoor Championships: At College Station, Texas, Florida’s men totaled 30.5 points to seize the team lead, while Lloydricia Cameron’s shot put title headlined a 29-point performance by the Gators’ women, putting them third overall after Saturday’s opening night.
Cameron entered her sixth and final attempt in third place, but broke through with a throw of 17.65 meters (57 feet, 11 inches), an 18-centimeter personal record. The Miami native’s mark held off Ole Miss’ Janaeah Stewart by two centimeters.
Also last year’s SEC Outdoor shot put champion, Cameron’s title is the 10th in school history, as well as UF’s first since Mariam Kevkhishvili won consecutive indoor crowns in 2009 and 2010.
Florida’s women also picked up major points in the pentathlon and long jump. Freshman Amanda Froeynes set three personal records en route to a bronze medal in the pentathlon.
Lacrosse: Third-ranked Florida (1-1) will challenge its third ranked opponent in a row to begin the season, facing No. 23 Loyola (0-1) today at noon at Dizney Stadium.
It’s the sixth meeting between the Gators and Greyhounds, with Florida owning a 5-0 mark in the series. Loyola is the third of eight IWLCA top-25 opponents for the Gators this season. UF has already played No. 17 Colorado and No. 1 Maryland, and still has No. 7 North Carolina, No. 4 Syracuse, No. 10 Navy, No. 11 Towson and No. 21 Denver left on the schedule.
Women’s tennis: At Stanford, California, when Florida and Stanford get together in women’s tennis, fans can always count on experiencing a high-level of play and an exciting, thrilling finish.
Saturday’s match at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium was no exception. Even in spite of the fact that neither team was ranked in the top-30 of the nation poll, there was anticipation leading up to the match.
Neither team’s overall record was impressive, as the Gators had defeated Saint Mary’s, 4-3, the previous day to even their record to 4-4. The Cardinal were sitting at a modest 4-2. Not quite for the norm for the two national powers.
All that aside, both teams came ready to battle and they did, as Florida senior Josie Kuhlman provided the clinching 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 singles win against Caroline Lampl that secured the Gators’ 4-3 win over Stanford.