College softball: Florida clinches series win over Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Senior Kirsti Merritt and sophomore Kayli Kvistad each recorded a pair of RBI in Saturday's series-clinching win, as No. 1 Florida (47-3/17-3 SEC) downed No. 18 Texas A&M (34-16/6-14 SEC), 7-3, at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Gators have now won 10 straight games over the Aggies.
Florida, who's currently in first place in the SEC standings, now holds a 17-3 mark in conference play for the first time since 2012 when the Gators were 18-2 through 20 league games. In addition, UF's magic number to win its sixth SEC Championship is down to four.
Aleshia Ocasio (17-1) threw a complete game in the circle for the Gators and allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out seven.
Florida opened the scoring in the third inning when Merritt recorded an RBI single up the middle. One frame later, UF extended its lead to 4-0 when Merritt and senior Kelsey Stewart each recorded RBI singles and Kvistad registered a sacrifice fly to left.
Sophomore Janell Wheaton and senior Taylore Fuller set the table in the fourth when they were walked and hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
UF added to its lead in the sixth when Kvistad hit her second sacrifice fly of the game and sophomore Nicole DeWitt hit her sixth home run of the season.
The fly ball scored freshman Amanda Lorenz, who recorded her first career triple to lead off the inning.
Texas A&M answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of home runs by Tori Vidales and Kristen Cuyos to cut the deficit to 6-3.
After the second homer, Ocasio settled down and did not allow a runner to get into scoring position for the remainder of the game.
Florida brought the game to its final score (7-3) in the top of the seventh when junior Chelsea Herndon recorded a pinch-hit solo homer to left-center field. It was her fourth long ball of her career and first since May 29, 2014 against Baylor.
Next Up: This series concludes tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.