Florida Gators softball Written by
February 13, 2016,
dominates Michigan behind Barnhill
Florida Gators softball report
TAMPA, Fla. - Behind three singles, three runs scored and one RBI from freshman Amanda Lorenz, No. 1 Florida blanked No. 2 Michigan, 8-0 (5 innings), on the second day of its season at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament. This was the first time in the 18-game history of the UF-UM series that the Gators run-ruled the Wolverines.
With the win, Florida continued a unique trend that has been going on since 2009. Every NCAA Champion since that time has won its first rematch with its Women's College World Series Championship Series opponent since Washington, who beat the Gators in the 2009, but then fell to UF in its first meeting since a few years later.
Florida jumped on Michigan early with three runs in the first inning on two hits.
During the frame, senior Kelsey Stewart was hit by a pitch, then moved to second on a Kirsti Merritt single to left. Lorenz followed with her first collegiate hit, a single up the middle, which scored Stewart. Senior Taylore Fuller then reached on an error to load the bases.
Sophomores Nicole DeWitt and Kayli Kvistad then notched their first of two RBI on the day, as DeWitt walked and Kvistad grounded out to second, which scored Merritt and Lorenz.
In the third, Lorenz and Fuller led off with back-to-back singles and each of them later scored on Kvistad and Aubree Munro singles. With two out, the sophomore and senior were driven home by Justine McLean, giving UF a 7-0 advantage.
Florida added a run in the fourth on a Nicole DeWitt RBI single to give it its mercy-rule lead of 8-0.
Rookie Kelly Barnhill started in the circle and tossed five shutout innings, while recording two strikeouts and not walking a batter. In her collegiate debut, Barnhill surrendered just three hits and allowed just one UM runner to get into scoring position.
NEWS & NOTES
* UF's eight runs marked the second-highest total it's ever scored on UM.
* For the third consecutive year, a freshman pitcher beat Michigan in Tampa in her first Gator start; Ocasio got the win against the Wolverines in 2015 after Gourley turned the trick in 2014.
* All nine of UF's hits in the game were singles.
o All 17 of Florida's hits in its two games this season have been singles.
* Florida is now 9-2 against Michigan under Tim Walton.
* Florida's senior class is now 175-28 and trying to catch UF's 2011 class which boasted a 238-33 mark during their four years.
* Tim Walton is now just 23 wins away from his 700th. He currently ranks 42nd overall among active coaches in total wins.
* Amanda Lorenz recorded her first collegiate hit and RBI in the first inning.
* Justine McLean recorded a career-high two RBI with her two-run single in the third inning.
* Through two games, Florida is hitting .378 as a team and the Gators have a combined .517 on-base percentage.
* With today's win, UM and UF are now tied in its series history at nine wins apiece.
Head Coach Tim Walton:
"It was good to see Kelly [Barnhill] get out there and pitch. In was her first college game she shutout one of the better hitting teams in the country, if not the best hitting team in the country. I thought she did a really good job of mixing her speeds and locations. Defensively we made some nice plays behind her. Overall, we just had some clutch hitting. Being able to get that many RBI from the bottom of your lineup is great. With that said, I really like the balance we have in our lineup right now. We have a lot of tough outs and we're hitting the ball to all fields. We did the little things today, which I thought propelled us to have some big innings."