Florida Gators softball lands seven on NFCA All-Region Teams

The Florida Gators dominated the Southeast Region in this year’s NFCA D1 All-Region Teams, with seven players on the list between First Team and Second Team. In-state rival FSU was just behind Florida with six players receiving honors.

Sophomore pitcher Kelly Barnhill was named one of two pitchers on First-Team. This one was a no-brainer as Barnhill has not only been the best pitcher in the region but the best in the country all year long.

Barnhill is chasing records this season and even breaking some records already set by her. She has posted a 22-1 record with a nation-leading 0.33 ERA to this point. She also leads the nation in strikeouts per seven innings with 13.3. She has posted 282 strikeouts in 148.2 innings this season, averaging 1.9 strikeouts per inning and allowing just a .122 batting average.

Junior second baseman Nicole DeWitt was the second of four Gators players on First-Team. She started all 56 games for Florida so far this season, recording just two errors for a .984 fielding percentage at one of the toughest positions on the field. DeWitt is batting .333 with a with a .541 slugging percentage and a .456 on base percentage from the left-hand side of the box. She leads the Gators with 14 doubles this season.

Sophomore left fielder Amanda Lorenz landed on First-Team for the second season in a row. Lorenz had a perfect fielding percentage in the outfield and ranked near the top of the SEC in almost every offensive statistic.

Lorenz started every game for the Gators and led the team with 52 runs, 59 hits, nine home runs and a .639 slugging percentage. She posted a .373 batting average from the leadoff spot.

Junior utility player Aleshia Ocasio has done it all for the Gators this season and she capped off the list of players on First-Team. This is also her second consecutive season receiving First-Team honors.

Ocasio, a former All-American pitcher saw most of her action outside of the circle this season between right field and third base. She was the third option in Florida’s outstanding pitching staff this season, posting an 8-1 record with a 1.17 ERA in 66.0 innings pitched.

While juggling playing several different positions, Ocasio has managed to bat .309 with a .450 slugging percentage and a .381 on base percentage as a key player in Florida’s offense.

Senior pitcher Delanie Gourley, senior center fielder Justine McLean and junior first baseman Kayli Kvistad earned Second-Team recognition for the Gators.

“It’s super exciting,” Gourley said of making the All-Region team for the second time. “My mom actually texted me about it this morning, I didn’t even know, but it’s exciting when you get to have accomplishments like that. It means a lot, so I didn’t want to take that for granted.”

Despite having an impressive season in the circle, Gourley was pushed down to Second-Team due to so much pitching talent in the region this season. Her 0.77 ERA in 136.2 innings pitched this season was good for the fourth best in the country. Gourley relied on a nearly unhittable change up to post an 18-4 record and allow a .151 batting average.

McLean has started all 56 games for Florida this season as a speedy slapper in the nine-hole. She is batting .298 and is currently second on the team with 15 stolen bases in 16 attempts.

It is a bit of a wonder that Kvistad is a Second-Team selection this year after earning First-Team accolades a year ago. Kvistad had less official at bats this season due to being walked an SEC-leading 60 times, but was still able to post First-Team worthy stats.

Much like Lorenz, Kvistad ranked highly in many SEC offensive statistics, including the best on base percentage in the conference at .580. Another season-long starter, Kvistad led the Gators with a .388 batting average and 47 RBI’s. She also had 12 doubles, seven home runs and a .626 slugging percentage.

This year’s selections tie last season’s record with seven Florida Gators players being selected to All-Southeast Region teams. Barnhill, Lorenz, Ocasio, Gourley and Kvistad all received honors for the second time in their careers.

“It’s really exciting,” said Kvistad. “We read the list whenever we were in the locker room, and just having so many players on that list is really exciting. It shows how great we are as a team and I’m just really excited for post-season.”

The Gators begin post-season play at 2:30 p.m. on Friday as they take on FAMU in their first game of the Gainesville Regional.

NFCA All-Southeast Region
First Team
PKelly BarnhillFlorida
PJessica BurroughsFlorida State
CCarlee WallaceAuburn
1BAlex PowersFlorida State
2BNicole DeWittFlorida
3BJessica WarrenFlorida State
SSMeghan GreggTennessee
OFAmanda LorenzFlorida
OFCortni EmanuelGeorgia
OFMorgan KlaevemannFlorida State
UT/PAleshia OcasioFlorida
DPKendra Lynch North Carolina
Second Team
PDelanie GourleyFlorida
PKaylee CarlsonAuburn
CSydney BroderickFlorida State
1BKayli KvistadFlorida
2BAubrey LeahTennessee
3BKasey CooperAuburn
SSKatie ReedKentucky
OFSydni EmanuelGeorgia
OFTyler RossNC State
OFJustine McLeanFlorida
UT/PBrittany PickettNorth Carolina
DP or UTBrooke VinesTennessee
Third Team
PMeghan KingFlorida State
PElizabeth McCarthyLongwood
PHolly McKinnonUSC Upstate
CKirsten MackMissouri
1BCaitlin PlocheckLipscomb
2BMackenzie BoeselSouth Carolina
3BAlyssa DiCarloGeorgia
SSTaylor WikeNorth Carolina
OFMegan GeerTennessee
OFRyan JacksonBethune-Cookman
OFAlyssa RiveraAuburn
UT/PAmber SchislerCampbell
DP or UTMaeve McGuireGeorgia

 

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Bailiegh Williams
Growing up the daughter of a baseball coach in a household that revolved around Gators sports, Bailiegh’s future working in sports was her destiny. She played four years of varsity softball at Suwannee High School and one year on softball scholarship at Gulf Coast State College. In her first year she discovered a love for journalism so she packed her bags and moved to Gainesville to finish her A.A. and begin interning for Gator Country. She is now on track to graduate from the University of Florida in 2019. In her free time, Bailiegh enjoys binge watching her favorite TV shows and spending time with her family and her two fur babies.