Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The sixth-ranked Florida softball team took the first game of the series, 3-1, over No. 11 South Carolina at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (35-7, 10-3 SEC) scored in the first inning for the 28th time of the season when freshman Hannah Adams raced home on a passed ball. Cayla Drotar’s 2-0 pitch went between the legs of catcher Anna West, which allowed Adams to score and give UF the 1-0 edge.
Florida struck for another run in the second to extend the lead to 2-0 over South Carolina (34-8, 8-5 SEC). Sophia Reynoso reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second to move into scoring position. Alex Voss stepped up to the plate and drove a 2-2 pitch over the head of Kennedy Clark in left field for an RBI double and score Reynoso.
Nicole DeWitt crushed her ninth home run of the season in the third to give the Gators a 3-0 lead. Over her career, DeWitt has tallied 24 home runs.
Tiara Duffy broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with one swing of the bat in the seventh. Duffy sent Barnhill’s 1-2 pitch to the gap in right center field that scored Clark, who reached earlier via hit by pitch.
The two teams return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Saturday to wrap up the series with a doubleheader slated to start at noon. The games will be streamed via the SEC Network + which can be found on WatchESPN.com of the WatchESPN app.
Thoughts on the game and being back home…
“It felt good, not as good as yesterday though. Yesterday it was good being able to finally practice; it feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve been able to do that. Just to get on the field again yesterday and work the players out. Also, to have the fans and be at home for the weekend, we’re looking forward to it.”
On Kelly’s performance…
”I thought she pitched really well. It’s two years in a row she’s taken a no-hitter against South Carolina into the last inning and gave it up, but she did good. She pitched really well. I’m really happy with the way she performed. She looked good. She looked confident. She was making pitches when she needed to.”
From the Players
“It’s huge for us to get a run across in the first inning. It gives us a huge confidence boost. It sets the tone of the game and it gives Kelly room to be more aggressive with her pitches.”
“I don’t care who you play, getting runs on the board early changes the momentum. You’re able to be more aggressive and get that early punch to control the game.”
- The Gators lead the nation in walks with 221 on the year.
o UF drew five in the series opener against South Carolina.
- Kelly Barnhill struck out the side to start the game. This is her fourth time striking out the side in the first inning, and her twenty-second time striking out the side this season.
- Amanda Lorenz has reached base in every game of this season, and she has reached base 166 out her 173 at bats in her career.
- The Gators scored in the first inning for the 28th time this season.
o UF holds a 27-1 record when scoring in the first inning and 31-2 when scoring first.
- Nicole DeWitt hit her ninth homerun of the season and 24th of her career.
- Kelly Barnhill has struck out 10 or more batters for the 11th time this season.
o This is the team’s 15th time striking out 10 or more batters.
2018 #WeChomp Weekend Shuttle Information
Fans attending the game this Saturday against No. 11 South Carolina and plan to go the Orange & Blue Spring Game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium need to be aware of the following:
- As a reminder, fans must adhere to the clear bag policy if attending the Orange & Blue game.
- Shuttles will run from the Southwest Recreation Center RTS bus pickup starting at 1 p.m. with the final shuttle returning at 6 p.m. The drop off and pickup location at the Orange & Blue game is located at Gate 2 of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.