Aleshia Ocasio

Senior Aleshia Ocasio allowed a walk-off two-run homer to Louisiana Sunday afternoon in the final match of a three-game series. 

Alligator File Photo

Pitcher Aleshia Ocasio bent over and picked up some clay on the mound with her right hand.

She ran it through her fingers moments before her last pitch of the game, trying to keep herself composed 11 innings into the Gators’ matchup against Louisiana.

However, that calm demeanor on the mound changed to one of disappointment as Ocasio watched Ragin’ Cajuns outfielder Casidy Chaumont blast a home run toward left center field, securing two runs and a win for Louisiana.

No. 16 Louisiana (7-2) defeated No. 2 Florida (8-1) in the third and final game of the series on Sunday afternoon in Lafayette, handing UF its first loss of the season, 4-3.

Starting pitcher Kelly Barnhill was taken out of the game after three innings, finishing with one hit and two runs allowed — one unearned.

Three innings into the game, the Gators and the Ragin’ Cajuns were tied 2-2, but both teams remained scoreless for the next seven innings.

Ocasio, who took control of the circle in the fourth inning, finished the game with six hits and two earned runs allowed. It took five innings for the Gators to get a hit after they recorded two hits in the top of the 3rd.  

In the top of the 9th, utility player and catcher Danielle Romanello hit a line-drive single up the middle, but it wasn’t enough for the Gators to get back on the scoreboard by the end of the inning.

One of the highlights of Sunday’s game was in the bottom of the 10th when Ragin’ Cajuns shortstop Alissa Dalton hit a ball over Ocasio’s head right in front of second base.

The ball bounced once before it was fielded by shortstop Sophia Reynoso, who threw it to first to retire Dalton. First baseman Kayli Kvistad then slung the ball across the diamond to third baseman Nicole DeWitt who outed Brittany Rodriguez as she slid through the base.

The 6-3-5 double play ended the inning and gave Florida enough momentum to score another run in the top of the 11th with the help of second baseman Hannah Adams.

With Ocasio already on second base, Adams drove a pitch to center field, giving Ocasio enough time to run home, putting the Gators up 3-2.

Chaumont’s two-run bomb in the bottom of the 11th, however, ended the game on a walk-off.

Despite Sunday’s loss, Florida finished the series 2-1 overall, dominating Saturday’s double-header with shutout scores of 4-0 and 9-0.

Up next for the Gators is another double-header against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Follow Mari Faiello on Twitter @faiello_mari and contact her at [email protected].

Mari Faiello is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida's softball team. She has previously covered UF men's tennis, UF women's tennis and UF volleyball. She has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.