Florida softball blanks Ohio State, advances to sixth straight Super Regional

By Adam Silverstein
May 20, 2018
Florida softball blanks Ohio State, advances to sixth straight Super Regional

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Postseason softball has now become commonplace in Gainesville, Florida, as the No. 2 Florida Gators continued their incredible success in NCAA Tournament regional play by completing a sweep of the 2018 Gainesville Regional on Sunday. After seeing their game postponed seven hours due to rain, Florida (53-8) picked up a 3-0 shutout of the Ohio State Buckeyes to win three straight games over the extended weekend.

With the victory, the Gators will advance to their sixth straight Super Regional and play the best-of-three series for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons. Florida is 8-2 in Super Regional play dating back to 2007.

Senior right-handed pitcher Aleshia Ocasio (21-6) was tremendous from the hill, tossing a complete game no-hitter while striking out 12 of the 24 batters she faced. Ocasio (0/2, 2 RBI), who also notched a no-hitter on Friday, drove in half of UF’s runs on the evening.

Offensively, the Gators were unable to notch a hit through their first five offensive frames but were nevertheless able to take an early 2-0 advantage thanks to seven walks and excellent base running. Florida finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 on base over the course of the game.

UF opened the Gainesville Regional by run-ruling Bethune-Cookman 8-0 in six innings on Friday before doing the same to Ohio State 10-2 on Saturday. The Gators actually trailed 2-0 in the latter contest but took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and scored seven more in the sixth to end the game an inning early.

Florida will host either No. 16 Texas A&M or Baylor starting next Friday in the Gainesville Super Regional. The Gators swept the Aggies over a three-game home series in late March, outscoring their SEC rivals 23-4 in those contests. Florida also beat Baylor 4-0 back on March 3 in a neutral-site game.

Counting UF and with TAMU still pending, eight SEC teams have already qualified for the 16-team Super Regional (No. 2 Florida, No. 7 Georgia, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 10 Tennessee, No. 11 LSU, No. 12 Alabama, No. 13 Arkansas, No. 18 Kentucky). No. 8 Florida State has also earned its way into the field.

The Gators enter next weekend on a 10-game winning streak with victories in 19 of their last 20 games.


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