Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 5-seed Florida defeated Boise State, 8-0 (5 Innings), Saturday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to advance to the Gainesville Regional Final. The duo of Natalie Lugo (8-3) and Kelly Barnhill produced the program’s eighth all-time combined no-hitter, while the Gators offense railed off eight runs in the first two innings of play.
The Gators (46-15) jumped out in front early 6-0 over the Broncos (35-15) with a two-out rally in the top of the first inning of play. With two outs, UF drew four walks cranked out four hits to score the second most runs in the initial frame of play this season.
Boise State’s starting pitcher, Gianna Mancha (12-8), was chased from the circle after 43 pitches and two thirds of an innings worth of work.
UF struck for two more runs and took and 8-0 lead in the top of the second with RBI base hits from Jaimie Hoover and Jade Caraway. Caraway produced her third RBI of the game, which tied career-high, after she scored Hoover from third on an infield single to the Boise State shortstop Rebekah Cervantes.
Barnhill received her fifth-straight postseason start in the circle. She hurled two innings and struck out three with only one walk before she gave way to reliever Lugo in the third.
Lugo hurled three perfect innings and struck out a pair of Broncos for the first NCAA postseason win of her career.
How It Happened – Boise State – W, 8-0 (5 Innings)
|T-1st||1-0||With the bases loaded and two outs, Hannah Adams scored from third base on a passed ball.|
|T-1st||3-0||Jade Caraway pushed two more runs across with a single to left field that scored Jordan Robertsand Sophia Reynoso.|
|T-1st||4-0||With a 1-1 count, freshman Hannah Sipos drove in Jaimie Hoover on an RBI single through the left side.|
|T-1st||5-0||Alex Voss continued the two-out rally when she singled through the left side of the Broncos infield to score Sipos.|
|T-1st||6-0||Lorenz capped off the scoring in the first during her second plate appearance of the inning with an RBI single that scored Sipos.|
|T-2nd||7-0||The Gators offense went back to work in the second when Hoover drove in Adams with an RBI single.|
|T-2nd||8-0||Caraway notched her third RBI of the game on an infield single to the shortstop that scored Hoover from third.|
- Barnhill and Lugo turned in UF’s 8thcombined no-hitter in program history after the duo retired 14 of the 15 batters faced through the five inning game.
- It’s the first combined no-hitter since May 18, 2018 when Barnhill and Aleshia Ocasio achieved the feat against Bethune-Cookman in a six-inning game.
- Today was Barnhill’s third combined no-hitter of her career.
- The only batter to reach base was the leadoff batter in the bottom of the first tinning. Kora Wade reached via a leadoff walk but was erased from the bases when she was caught trying to steal second by Florida catcher Jordan Roberts.
- Florida improved to 43-19 overall in NCAA Regional play with today’s win.
- The Gators have outscored opponents 137 to 24 and have posted 28 shutouts over 43 games since 2006.
- Kelly Barnhill picked up three strikeouts in this afternoon’s game against Boston U. and now has 323 strikeouts on the season.
- Barnhill is currently chasing the single-season record of 363 set by Stacey Nelson (2006-’09).
- Amanda Lorenz picked up one walk and now sits with 54 on the season and 232 for her career.
- The Moorpark, Calif. native is the active NCAA career leader in the category and the all-time record holder in UF history.
- After going 2-for-2 at the plate, Hannah Adams is now 9-for-22 (.409) with six RBI over a eight-game span since May 4.
- Jade Caraway tied her career-high with three RBI after she went 2-for-2 at the plate.
- Caraway notched three RBI against North Carolina May 12, 2017 in her freshman year at N.C. State.
- Florida’s six-run first inning are the second most runs scored in the first inning of play.
- The Gators scored seven runs against Texas A&M April 12, 2019.
“First, again, crowd was awesome. Just the energy that we had before the game even started and then all the way through the first inning rally, just really happy to have what felt like a home-field advantage and really doing a good job. Really proud of our fans for stepping up through the heat. A little hotter today than yesterday and they really did a great job. So I’m really proud of that. But no bigger performance than obviously the two-out rally in the first. It was great to see the bottom of the lineup turn it over and make things happen. And then Natalie, obviously, player of the game for us to get Kelly out of the game and come in and throw, ho-hum, three perfect innings. Really, really proud of Nat for what she did and she hasn’t pitched in postseason, so this is a big moment.”
On her 3 RBIs today:
“It feels good. I just wanted to come through for my team and get those runs in. Try to hit the ball hard and just stay within myself. Not to do too much, but just come through for the team.”
On pitching in a no-hitter:
“I try not to tell myself that I’m pitching in a no-hitter, same way as when you try to say it out loud to jinx it. I think it happens in your mind, too. I saw it on the board in like the fourth inning and I just kind of let it go and tried not to think about it too much. And just focus on letting my defense work and throwing pitches. ”
On her success at the plate:
“I think, aside from the confidence, our whole team has talked about whatever happened in the regular season doesn’t matter since it’s postseason. Your last at-bats don’t even matter, you just need to focus on the moment and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. And I also think everyone else has really bought into that, so everyone’s coming through.”
The Gators advance to the Gainesville Regional Final and will face the winner out of the loser’s bracket Sunday, May 19, at 12 p.m. (ET).