Florida Gators softball prepares for Tennessee this weekend

The No. 4 ranked Florida Gators softball team went 3-2 in the Judi Garman classic last weekend and defeated two top 20 teams but lost twice to number 2 UCLA.

The Gators take their 21-2 record into the first weekend of SEC play as the conference is once again loaded with talent.

This weekend the Gators will take on the 7th ranked Tennessee Volunteers who enter with a 16-2 record on the year.

Entering this weekend the SEC has 9 teams ranked in the top 25 out of the 13 teams that compete in softball.

 

How the teams have fared in conference play:

This is the first weekend of conference play for everyone in the league and both Florida and Tennessee didn’t play a midweek game after they were both in California last weekend for the Judi Garman classic.

 

In the batter’s box:

Senior Amanda Lorenz is once again the Gators top hitter with a .443 batting average on the year. Lorenz leads the team in home runs with six and RBI’s with 19 as she continues to pace the Gators offense like in past years.

Junior Kendyl Lindaman comes into this weekend hitting .373 after a good week in California last week. Lindaman now has two home runs and 15 RBI’s for the Gators.

Sophomore Hannah Adams was another player who got hot in California last weekend and is now hitting .355 on the year with two home runs and 14 RBI’s on the year.

In the circle:

The Gators five man pitching staff supports a 1.29 ERA on the year, which is good for the nation’s seventh best ERA.

Senior Kelly Barnhill leads the nation with 12 wins on the year and supports a .96 ERA on the year. Barnhill has just one lost and has struck out 101 batters in 65.2 innings this year.

Sophomore Natalie Lugo has been the Gators second best pitcher this year and has a 6-1 record and a 1.27 ERA. Lugo has cruised through most of the year except for the two bad innings against UCLA last weekend.

 

Tennessee scouting report

Tennessee has been led this year by good hitting and a .374 batting average on the year and has a team ERA of 1.77 on the year.

Aubrey Leach leads Tennessee with a .519 batting average on the year and scored 24 runs while taking 13 walks.

Kaili Phillips leads Tennessee with six home runs on the year and has driven in 15 runs but is just hitting .300 on the year.

In the circle Tennessee mainly uses a three man rotation and are led by Ashley Rogers who is 5-0 on the year with 1.45 ERA. She has pitched in 8 games on the year.

Matty Moss has pitched in 10 games and is 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA while Caylan Arnold has started the most games for Tennessee this year with 9 games started. Arnold has a 2.22 ERA and is 7-1 on the year.

 

Player to watch:

For Florida: The Gators will need Kelly Barnhill and Natalie Lugo to set the pace in the circle for the Gators this weekend. Florida’s offense has struggled at times so getting good pitching will be a key.

 

For Tennessee: The Vols will look to Leach and the rest of the Tennessee offense to get to the Gators pitching staff early in the series. The Gators haven’t played from behind much this year so that’s something to watch.

 

 

Here’s the schedule for this weekend’s game.

  • #4 Florida vs. #7 Tennessee on Friday at 6:00 P.M. on ESPN3
  • #4 Florida vs. #7 Tennessee on Saturday at 1:00 P.M on ESPN3
  • #4 Florida vs. #7 Tennessee on Sunday at 12:00 P.M on ESPN3
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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.