Special to The Sun
[Update: 12 p.m., 3-2-18] FULLERTON, Calif. — No. 2 Florida opened the Judi Garman Classic in impressive fashion Thursday, beating Loyola Marymount 13-0 and Cal State Fullerton 10-0.
The Gators belted four home runs to beat Loyola (7-8-1), with Amanda Lorenz hitting a solo shot and a grand slam, while Jordan Matthews drilled a three-run blast and Nicole DeWitt hit a solo one to support the pitching of Aleshia Ocasio (8-1) and Natalie Lugo, who combined on a two-hitter in the five-inning game.
In the five-inning night cap, the Gators (18-1) used a nine-run fourth inning to power past Fullerton. DeWitt hit a two-run home run and Jordan Roberts a three-run homer to highlight the inning.
Kelly Barnhill (8-0) allowed just one hit in her four innings while striking out eight and Katie Chronister closed the final inning with two strikeouts.
Friday, Florida plays Charlotte at 8:30 p.m. The Gators schedule changed slightly, as the team will now only play the one game. Michigan State, Friday afternoon’s scheduled foe, experienced travel delays and did not arrive in California as planned Thursday, thus causing the cancellation of Friday’s game with the Gators.
Baseball: No. 1 Florida hosts a three-game series against Stony Brook this weekend, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at McKethan Stadium. All three games (4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday) this weekend will stream live on SEC Network+ via the WatchESPN app.
UF is scheduled to throw its regular weekend pitching rotation: Brady Singer (2-0, 2.25 ERA), Jackson Kowar (2-0, 2.77 ERA) and Tyler Dyson (1-1, 1.50 ERA).
Football: Florida coach Dan Mullen will speak at the University Auditorium on March 20, in a special event hosted by ACCENT Speakers Bureau in partnership with the University Athletic Association.
The event, including an open audience Q&A, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. Students with valid UF ID may pick up a maximum of two tickets free of charge from the ACCENT office on the third floor of the J. Wayne Reitz Union on March 19 between the hours of noon and 5 p.m.
If any tickets remain, they will be made available to the general public at the University Auditorium Box Office at noon the following day.
Gymnastics: No. 5 Florida closes SEC regular-season action at 8 p.m. Friday at No. 20 Missouri.
Florida’s Megan Skaggs picked up the SEC Freshman of the Week award Tuesday. She turned in collegiate-best marks of 9.90 for both bars and beam in the Gators Link to Pink meet.
Women’s tennis: At Oxford, UF defeated Ole Miss 4-3. Picking up singles wins were Josie Kuhlman (at No. 2 singles), Victoria Emma (No. 3) and Peggy Porter (No. 5). The Gators also won the doubles point behind the play of Anna Danilina-Emma at No. 1 and Kuhlman-McCartney Kessler at No. 2.
Men’s tennis: After a month of being on the road and playing indoors, the Gators are anxious to get back outside and welcome Georgia to Gainesville for a 6 p.m. match Friday at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.
The Gators (5-4) and Bulldogs (6-2) each serve up their SEC campaigns. The schools, constantly atop the SEC standings, were chosen to finish the regular season in a tie for second-place by the league’s coaches in the annual Preseason Coaches’ Poll.