After big first inning, No. 1 Florida run-rules No. 25 LSU to win series
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The top-ranked Gators clinched their first SEC road series on Sunday with a 10-2 win (5 innings) at No. 25 LSU. Florida (28-2, 4-2 SEC) scored seven runs in the first inning, two in the second and one in the fifth in support of Delanie Gourley (11-0), who allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts to earn the complete-game victory.
The Gators got on the scoreboard immediately when Kelsey Stewart led off the game with a home run to center field. The offense continued its early onslaught when Stephanie Tofft singled to set up a two-run blast down the left-field line by Lauren Haeger. Bailey Castro was then hit by a pitch, and Kirsti Merritt brought her home with an RBI double to left. Justine McLean walked to bring up Taylor Schwarz, who hit a three-run home run to left to make the score 7-0 after one half-inning.
"She came to bat today with a lead. It says a lot about the way you can swing the bat when you’ve got a lead," said head coach Tim Walton on Schwarz's breakout day at the plate. "It’s a lot easier to hit. I’ll take nothing away from her -- it’s just a lot easier to get the job done when you’ve got confidence."
LSU scored one run off Gourley in the bottom of the first on a leadoff triple and a fielder’s choice, but the Gators answered back in the second with a two-run single from Schwarz that plated Haeger and Merritt. Both pitchers fired blanks in the third and fourth, with the lefty striking out three Tigers during the two frames and allowing just a single in the third.
Aubree Munro reached on a two-base error to start the fifth, and pinch-runner Jessica Damico scored two batters later on an LSU error. LSU plated a run in the bottom of the frame on a double to center, but Gourley finished off the Tigers to seal the 10-2 victory and secure the series for the Gators.