Florida's Kayli Kvistad (21) hits a walks off RBI to end a softball game against FSU at Katie Seashole Presley Stadium in Gainesville Wednesday April 12, 2017. The Gators won 1-0.
Walk-off hit downs No. 1 'Noles
Once in a while, a big game lives up to its billing.
Such was the case Wednesday night when No. 3 Florida ended top-ranked Florida State's winning streak at 24 in a row with a walk-off 1-0 win before a Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium record crowd of 2,574.
"I just want to thank everybody for coming out,” UF coach Tim Walton said. “It was a great crowd and great energy. You couldn't even hear yourself think for a lot of the time. I had a couple of reminders for our batters and couldn't even get relayed information into them.”
The win, UF's ninth in a row, improved the Gators to 38-2 on the season while the Seminoles, losing for the first time since Feb. 23, slipped to 38-2-1. The Gators are 15-1 against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Justine McLean got things started in the seventh with a one-out bunt hit and took second on Amanda Lorenz's fielder's choice.
Following a walk to Nicole DeWitt, Kayli Kvistad delivered a hard single to right that sent McLean racing home with the game-winning run as the Gators piled out of the dugout to celebrate.
“It felt great,” Kvistad said. “It was a great team win overall.”
FSU threatened in the top of the first when leadoff batter Morgan Klaevemann singled and appeared to steal second on a swinging third strike by Alex Powers. But Klaevemann was called out for leaving first base too early, a call that was verified on replay.
Jessica Warren, FSU's top hitter, then doubled to left, but was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Amanda Lorenz trying to score on Ellie Cooper's single, with catcher Janell Wheaton applying the tag to leave the 'Noles scoreless despite three first-inning hits.
Starter Delanie Gourley settled down after that, retiring 12 of the last 13 batters she faced to keep the game scoreless, and FSU got just one hit, a two-out single in the third, the rest of the way.
UF got runners to second and third in the fifth with two outs only to have Kvistad fly out to deep left to end the threat.
Wheaton, who had two hits, then reached third with two outs in the sixth, but Chelsea Herndon lined out to left to end the inning.
FSU elected to pull starter Jessica Burroughs, who allowed just two hits, with one out in the seventh and brought in left-hander Meghan King, who did get the second out after allowing McLean's bunt. But she gave up Lorenz's fielder's choice that put McLean in scoring position, then walked Nicole DeWitt, who had reached base three straight times by being hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Kvistad's game-winner.
King (17-1) took the loss, while UF's Kelly Barnhill (16-0) earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
Next up, UF travels to face Kentucky in a three-game SEC series starting Friday.
View Full Site
Copyright © 2015 Gatorsports.com — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.