Special report on the Florida Gators softball:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Florida softball team defeated No. 15 Alabama, 3-2, to take the series Monday, April 9, at Rhoads Stadium.
Freshman Danielle Romanello accounted for all three of the Gators (34-6, 9-3 SEC) RBI in the win with a two-run double in the fourth and a solo home run in the sixth. Kelly Barnhill (17-1) picked up the win in the circle after she limited the Crimson Tides’ (25-11, 6-6 SEC) offense to just four hits and a pair of runs.
Alabama attempted to plate their first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Caroline Hardy reached base with a leadoff walk, which prompted Rachel Bobo to enter the game as a pinch runner. A SAC bunt by Merris Schroder and a wild pitch allowed Bobo to advance to third with one out.
Barnhill bounced back to strikeout Sydney Booker looking and made a heads up play when Bobo tried to steal home on the throwback to the circle.
The Gators threatened in the third and attempted break open the game with a two-out walk from Amanda Lorenz and a hit by pitch drawn by Sophia Reynoso, but Osorio worked her way out of the jam without giving up a run.
The Crimson Tide plated the first runs and took a 2-0 lead via a two-run home run by Kaylee Tow in the bottom of the third. Elissa Brown reached with a with a two-out chopper up the middle and advanced into scoring position after reaching second. Janell Wheaton threw down to Reynoso in an attempt to catch Brown but the ball popped out on the tag.
Florida evened the score, 2-2, when Romanello entered the game as a pinch-hitter and blistered a two-run down the right field line in the top of the fourth. Nicole DeWitt and Hannah Adams drew full-count walks to start the rally. Osorio battled back to record a pair of strikeouts but Wheaton loaded the bases after drawing another full-count walk.
Romanello cranked the first home run of her career in the top of the sixth. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native stayed in the game as the game as the designated player and fell behind 0-2 in the count to Osorio before turning on the next pitch that gave the Gators the 3-2 lead.
Florida’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11, at Florida State with a 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
- Tim Walton is now 700-143 in 13 seasons as the head coach of the Gators.
- Over his 16 seasons as a head coach, Walton has earned a .799 career winning percentage, which is the highest win percentage amongst active NCAA Division I coaches.
- Top 5 Active DI Coaches – Career Records
- Tim Walton
- 16 Seasons Overall | 823-207 (.799)
- 13 Seasons at Florida | 700-143 (.830)
- Mike Candrea | 31 Seasons Overall | 1,547 – 395 – 2 (.797)
- Mike White | 9 Seasons Overall | 413 – 107 – 1 (.793)
- Patty Gasso | 24 Seasons Overall | 1,178 – 324 – 2 (.784)
- Patrick Murphy | 21 Seasons Overall | 1,039 – 303 (.775)
- Tim Walton
- Danielle Romanello picked up her first pinch-hit hit of the season with the double in the fourth inning.
- She went on to hit her first career home run in the sixth to give the Gators a 3-2 lead.
- Amanda Lorenz reached base safely for the first time in the game with a walk in the third inning.
- She has now reached base safely in every game this season and in 164 out of 171 games over her career.
- Tonight was the Gators fourth come-from-behind victory of the season.