Florida Gators softball cruises past Illinois State

Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:

TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida softball team picked up a 15-0 victory over Illinois State Friday evening to open the 2019 season at the USF Opening Weekend Invitational. The offense fueled the victory with 13 hits, which was led by senior Amanda Lorenz who went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and a run scored.

The Gators (1-0) lineup produced in a big way throughout the game, but the initial inning set the tone against the Redbirds (0-2). Florida struck for four runs on four hits, which was initiated by back-to-back hits from sophomore Hannah Adams and Lorenz that helped put UF ahead 4-0.

From there UF went on to score 11 more runs over the next four innings; the offensive onslaught was finally capped off by a three run home run in the top of the fifth by shortstop Sophia Reynoso.

In the circle, senior hurler Kelly Barnhill went 3.0 innings to pick up her 71st career victory and struck out seven along the way. Sophomore Natalie Lugo pitched an inning in relief along with freshman Danni Farley, who made her UF debut.

The pitching staff as a whole only relinquished the one hit and struck out a total of eight batters. Also, no walks were issued in the game.

How It Happened

Inning Score Play
1st 1-0 After a leadoff single by Adams, Lorenz drove her in with a double past the outstretched arms of the Redbirds center fielder.
1st 3-0 Hoover stretched the Gators lead with a two-RBI triple in her first at-bat. Lorenz and Danielle Romanello scored on the play.
1st 4-0 Jordan Matthews sent a single through the right side of the Redbirds infield to drive home Hoover from third.
3rd 5-0 Reynoso extended the Gators lead with a bases loaded RBI walk.
3rd 6-0 After a Redbirds pitching change, Voss drew another bases loaded RBI walk.
3rd 7-0 A mistake from Illinois State left fielder Kenzie Pence allowed Reynoso to score from third during Adams at-bat.
3rd 9-0 Lorenz drove in Alex Voss and Hannah Sipos with a single up the middle of the ISU infield.
3rd 10-0 Jade Caraway picked up her first hit as a Gator with an RBI single through the left side that scored Adams.
4th 11-0 Voss drove in Jordan Roberts on a SAC fly to left field. Roberts reached earlier in the inning via a fielding error by Pence in left field.
5th 12-0 Roberts drove in pinch-runner Haven Sampson on a single up the middle.
5th 15-0 Reynoso lifted a 1-2 pitch over the wall and off the light poll in left center field which also scored Amanda Bean and Romanello for the final runs of the contest.

Standout Statistic
The 15-0 win to open the season is the fifth consecutive opening day shutout and the third largest margin of victory to start a season.

  • 2015 – vs. Hampton – W, 17-0
  • 2011 – vs. Marshall – W, 17-1
  • 2018 – vs. Illinois State – W, 15-0

Notable Notes

  • Florida improved to 11-2 all-time against the Redbirds and have won the last 11 meetings.
  • Lorenz started her senior campaign with a solid outing at the plate and improved her standing in several career categories in the UF record books.
    • Surpassed Megan Bush for 8thoverall in career hits and now has 226.
    • Ranks 6th all-time with 46 career doubles.
  • Barnhill picked up her 71st career victory and is now tied with Aleshia Ocasio for sixth all-time.
  • Tonight was the 27th combined one-hitter in program history and the first since Barnhill and Katie Chronistercombined to defeat Cal State Fullerton (March 1, 2018)
  • Eight Gators recorded hits on the night and 18 total played in the game.

Next Up
The Gators return to action Saturday morning to take on No. 19 Michigan at 10:30 a.m. and No. 7 Arizona at 12:45 a.m.

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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.