UF Roundup: Softball team gets one from Georgia

[Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

Special to The Sun

ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 2 Florida softball team salvaged the final game of the series Sunday by defeating No. 10 Georgia, 5-1.

Aleshia Ocasio (10-2) picked up the win with a complete-game performance where she struck out nine and issued zero walks.

The Gators (23-3, 4-2 SEC) put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh with three-run inning that was highlighted by a two-run home run by Amanda Lorenz. Hannah Adams scored earlier in the inning on an RBI single by Sophia Reynoso.

Florida struck first in the initial frame with a pair of two-out hits from Kayli Kvistad and Jordan Matthews. Kvistad reached on an infield single that was knocked down by a diving Justice Milz. Matthews drove in Kvistad with a double that was hit high in the air and lost in the sun by Kendall Burton in right field.

Florida plated its second run of the game in the fifth inning to go ahead 2-0. Jordan Roberts reached after she was hit by the pitch. Alex Voss entered to run for Roberts and moved into scoring position via a Sophia Reynoso SAC bunt. Voss scored on a Georgia miscue on a throw to third whenever Amanda Lorenz grounded out to first base for the second out.

The Bulldogs (26-2, 5-1 SEC) picked up their first base runner of the game in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Kendall put down a bunt single and beat out the throw from Ocasio. The runner never advanced as Ocasio induced a pop fly to Matthews in right field to end the inning.

UF returns home for a Wednesday clash against USF at 6 p.m.

Women’s tennis: Knoxville, Tenn., Florida (10-5, 5-1 SEC) won the doubles point en route to a 4-1 win against Tennessee (12-5, 0-5). After capturing the doubles point for the eighth time this season, senior Anna Danilina gave the Gators a 2-0 lead with a straight set singles win on court one.

Peggy Porter then followed with a straight set win at the No. 5 spot for a 3-0 Florida advantage. Tennessee got on the board with the decision on court six, before freshman McCartney Kessler provided the clinching heroics with a 7-5, 6-0 win at the No. 4 spot.

UF plays at Alabama on Thursday.

Men’s tennis: At Nashville, Tenn., the Gators (10-6, 5-1 SEC) defeated Vanderbilt 4-3, starting with the doubles point by McClain Kessler-Duarte Vale at No. 2 and Chase Perez-Blanco-Oliver Crawford at No. 3. Getting singles wins were Alfredo Perez at No. 1, Crawford at No. 3 and Perez-Blanco at No. 6. Vandy fell to 14-3, 4-1.

Lacrosse: At Nashville, Tenn., Florida (6-2, 1-0 Big East) picked up an 11-10 win over Vanderbilt (5-3, 0-1).

The Gators jumped out to a 5-1 lead barely 10 minutes into the contest, with senior attacker Shayna Pirreca recording a hat trick in just eight minutes and 30 seconds.

Vanderbilt clawed its way back into the game to close the first half, with Florida entering the locker room holding just a 7-6 lead. Junior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen kept the Gators out front, racking up 10 of her 13 saves during the first half.

Florida began the second half on a 4-1 run, and looked poised to put the game out of reach after taking an 11-7 lead with 17:57 minutes remaining in the game. However, the Gators were unable to sustain their momentum and did not score again over the duration of the contest while Vanderbilt put together a 3-0 run to close the second half.

The Commodores found themselves with possession of the ball and a chance to tie the game with under two minutes left in regulation, but junior Caroline Benitez forced VU’s Gabrielle Fornia into a turnover and collected the ensuing ground ball so Florida could run out the clock.

UF will face its final non-conference opponent Wednesday when No. 14 Towson (5-2) visits Gainesville.

Men’s golf: At Statesboro, Ga., the Gators finished in to top six for the seventh time this season at the Schenkel Invitational. Florida posted a 5-under round on the final day of competition moving past College of Charleston to finish sixth on the leaderboard. Vanderbilt went wire-to-wire for the win at 835 (-29).

Gordon Neale anchored the top of the lineup carding a 4-under 68 to finish tied for 12th in the competition. Over the final two days, Neale moved up 58 spots and was the Gators top finisher. Neale carded just one bogey over the final 34 holes of competition.

Women’s golf: At Auburn, Ala., after one round of the Evans Derby Experience, the Gators sit in seventh posting a 4-over, behind leader Florida State’s 278 (-10).

Florida was anchored by sophomore Sierra Brooks who carded a team best 2-under round and is tied for ninth on the leaderboard entering Monday. Brooks sunk four birdies while carding just two bogeys on No. 3 and No. 18 en route to her 70.