Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
OKLAHOMA CITY – Behind a balanced offensive attack, some stellar defense and a dominant performance from Kelly Barnhill, the University of Florida softball team blanked LSU, 7-0, to reach the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series on Friday evening at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
After defeating Texas A&M on Thursday, 8-0, Florida (57-8) exploded for seven runs on nine hits on Friday. UF’s 15 runs are the most its scored to open the WCWS since 2014.
In addition, the Gators recorded their 40th shutout of the season on Friday, which is a new program record (2009: 39 shutouts).
The first three innings on Friday were tight, as each team had runners in scoring position and failed to capitalize.
The Gators broke the scoreless tie in the fourth when senior Chelsea Herndon delivered a two-run double down the right-field line. Prior to that, she was 0-for-12 in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
In the sixth, Florida extended its lead to 3-0 when Janell Wheaton hit her first career postseason home run with a solo shot to left. The Gators tacked on four more runs in the seventh, which was highlighted by a Kayli Kvistad two-run home run to right-center field.
In the circle, the National Player of Year lived up to that title as Barnhill (26-3) tossed seven scoreless innings in the circle and allowed just two hits, while striking out eight.
- Florida is now 24-12 all-time at the WCWS.
- During Tim Walton‘s tenure as head coach, UF is 74-25 in NCAA play and 20-11 at the WCWS.
- Amanda Lorenz went 3-for-4 with an RBI against the Tigers, which ran her NCAA Tournament numbers to 14-for-24 (.588) and 22 total bases in 25 at-bats.
Florida will face the winner of Saturday night’s first elimination game in the semifinals at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday on ESPN. Check FloridaGators.com for broadcast information and more details.