On No. 1 Florida softball’s senior day game against North Texas, the Gators owned a 3-0 through four innings.
After an explosive first inning, Mean Green pitcher Lauren Craine started to find her groove, at one point retiring six straight Florida hitters between the second and fourth innings.
The situation changed drastically in the fifth, however, as the Gators displayed the ability to score at will as they ripped off six runs on six hits to end the game early in a dominant 9-0 showcase.
Florida head coach Tim Walton started all three of his seniors in Justine McLean, Chelsea Herndon and pitcher Delanie Gourley.
The three were celebrated and honored as part of the senior day festivities. When they took to the field, they carried that same excitement and all had strong performances.
Offensively, the right fielder Herndon helped the team get both early and late runs on the board.
In the first inning, the senior hit a sacrifice ball to the North Texas shortstop that brought home the Gators third run of the inning and concluded the scoring for UF until the fifth.
As the game wore on, both teams went into a slump offensively.
North Texas was unable to get themselves out of that slump throughout the entire game.
No Mean Green runner got past second base in the game, mainly due to the arm of Delanie Gourley.
The lone senior struck out six and allowed three hits in 4 2/3 innings while sophomore Kelly Barnhill provided one out of relief.
The bottom of the fifth inning began with an immediate bang. Amanda Lorenz rocked her team-leading ninth home run on the season to push the lead to 4-0.
After a softly hit single from Kayli Kvistad, Nicole DeWitt banged a shot down the right field line to send pinch-runner Jacqui Switzer home.
Two more runs would come off of the bats of Florida hitters, making it a sizable 7-0 advantage.
With only one out, freshman Jordan Roberts had the opportunity to seal the victory and clinch the series versus North Texas.
Roberts didn’t hesitate, sending a two-run shot over the right-center field wall and ending the Mean Green’s hopes for more playing time.
While three seniors exit the program for the Gators, the home run shot signifies that the future is still just as promising with ripe talent ready to take the reins of the offense and defense.
With the victory, the team won all nine of their three-game series on the season. They hope to sweep North Texas tomorrow before playing their final regular season game just a little while after against Florida A&M. The action begins in Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at noon.
Contact Skyler Lebron at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @SkylerLebron.