Florida Gators softball advances to SEC tournament semifinals

Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 9 Florida advanced to the semi-finals of the 2019 Southeastern Conference Tournament after it defeated No. 10 LSU, 3-0, Thursday afternoon at Davis Diamond.

The Gators (42-15) were led offensively by senior Amanda Lorenz, who turned in a 3-for-4 performance at the plate against the Tigers (40-16), and in the circle by senior Kelly Barnhill’s (28-11) one-hit performance.

Lorenz led off the game with a hard double to the gap in right-center and was brought home by Jordan Roberts’ RBI single to center field. UF tacked on two more runs in the top of the second inning to extend the lead out to 3-0.

The three-run lead was more than Barnhill needed as she held LSU’s high-powered offense to just a softly hit single up the third base line by Aliyah Andrews. After the single, the Marietta, Ga. native retired the next 13 batters in order and finished the game with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Next Up
Florida advances to face No. 10-seed Auburn Friday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. (ET)/3:30 p.m. (CT) at Davis Diamond on ESPN2.

How It Happened – W, 3-0  

Inning Score Play
T-1st 1-0 Jordan Roberts put the Gators on the scoreboard first with her two-out RBI single to center field that scored Amanda Lorenz from second. Lorenz led off the game with her 10th double of the season.
T-2nd 2-0 With the bases loaded, Lorenz produced a slow-rolling infield single up the third base line that scored Sophia Reynoso from third.
T-2nd 3-0 Kendyl Lindaman drove in the final run of the inning with a fielder’s choice to third that scored Hannah Sipos.

Standout Statistic

  • Kelly Barnhill’s one-hit shutout of No. 10 LSU is her third complete-game one-hitter of the season.
    • vs. No. 5/6 Washington – W, 1-0 – March 1, 2019
    • at No. 19 Auburn – W, 7-0 – April 26, 2019
    • vs. No. 10 LSU – W, 3-0 – May 9, 2019

Notable Notes

  • The Gators now hold a 30-27 record in SEC Tournament play.
  • Today’s win over No. 10 LSU was the team’s 17th victory over a top-25 opponent this season.
    • It’s also the ninth shutout of against a top-25 opponent.
  • Barnhill struck out the LSU side in the sixth inning and she has now struck out the side 27 times this season.
  • Lorenz tallied her 21st multi-hit game of the season after she went 3-for-4.
    • It’s the fourth time this season she has registered at least three hits.

Quotables

Head Coach Tim Walton
On if their momentum from the last game carried over …
I think overall, confidence is confidence. [When] you can get hitters that haven’t had their best year to get hits in post-season games or get hits against good teams. I think it breeds confidence. I definitely think that even though we got five hits total in this game and nine last night, I still thought that we struck the ball well today. We hit the ball really hard and made some defensive plays. I do think that that carried over. I think again, it’s who knows how to continue to grow confidence. We’ve had moments in the season where we were really good and I think today was one of those moments.

Senior Kelly Barnhill 
On the difference between her pitching performance from last week and today…
I think the real big difference between today and last weekend was hitting my spots and the ability to locate my two-seam fastball and my screwball. I think that ends up being a really big game-changer when the teams are going up there and they’re going to attack the rise ball and they’re looking up. So it changes their eyes and makes them have to look down.

Senior Amanda Lorenz
On the difference in their plate approach …
I think we’re just excited to be in postseason. It doesn’t matter what we did the previous at-bat or yesterday. All that matters is today and scoring runs and finding a way to win. So I think everyone really likes that and the comfortableness of that and not worrying about the average up on the screen. All that we care about is that we’re going to drive in runs and find a way to win.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.