Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 3-ranked University of Florida softball team clinched the series over No. 24 Missouri with a 1-0 victory in game two behind a strong pitching performance from sophomore Kelly Barnhill Sunday, March 12 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Barnhill (9-0) scattered three hits and recorded 12 strikeouts on just 84 pitches in the complete-game effort that secured the Gators (22-1, 2-0 SEC) 15th shutout of the season in just 22 games.
Missouri (11-10, 0-2 SEC) never managed to move a runner into scoring position. The Tigers best chance came in the sixth inning when pinch runner Gabby Garrison attempted to steal second base but was thrown out by junior catcher Janell Wheaton.
The play of the game came during Kayli Kvistad’s at-bat when Amanda Lorenz and Sophia Reynoso bolted for third and second base on a pitch that struck out Kvistad for the first out of the inning.
That set the stage for freshman third baseman Jaimie Hoover who recorded her 26th RBI of the season on a groundout to shortstop to score Lorenz from third.
Lorenz reached with a line drive single to left field to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a bunt single by Sophia Reynoso in the following at-bat.
Lorenz finished 2-for-3 at the plate while Reynoso, Kvistad and Justine McLean each tallied a hit in the contest.
Missouri pitcher Cheyenne Baxter (2-2) went 6.0 innings and threw 89 pitches on the day with three strikeouts and one walk.
The final game of the series is set for Monday, March 13 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium with a start time of 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
On changing gears and playing a non-traditional Monday night game tomorrow coming back from spring break…
“They’re student-athletes so we know priority number one is go to school and do the things that they need to do. With coming off spring break, to make sure all the projects, papers and tests are intact and ready to go. We’ll still have plenty of time and most of our players get out of school fairly early on Monday so it’s not really much of a time crunch.”
From the Players
On the effort from the defense playing behind her…
“It was a really fun game today. The defense was amazing. Janell’s (Wheaton) throw and Jamie’s (Hoover) dive for the foul ball really pumps you up when you’re out there and you see your defense working hard. It was just a really fun game in general.” – Kelly Barnhill
On SEC play getting underway this weekend…
“It’s awesome, I love playing in the SEC. Every game is a dogfight and it is always a hard game so that is the best thing about it and that’s why I came to Florida. To play in the best conference in the nation and to play against the best competition.” – Amanda Lorenz