Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The fifth-ranked Florida softball team downed No. 14 LSU in the series opening game, 7-0, Friday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (43-7, 16-3 SEC) pounded out nine hits with junior Amanda Lorenz leading the charge at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance. Kelly Barnhill dominated the game from in the circle and tied her season-high as she struck out 15 Tigers (36-12, 9-9 SEC) in her 18th complete-game of the season.
Alex Voss continued flourish at the plate as she picked up her fifth hit over the last six games with a double in the second that put the Gators ahead 2-0 over the Tigers. Voss scored Janell Wheaton and Jordan Matthews with a shot off the wall in center field and advanced to third in the next at-bat on a grounder to Becca Schulte.
Amanda Lorenz capped the scoring in the inning and put Florida ahead 3-0 when she scored Voss on an infield single.
Florida tacked on a run in the fifth when senior Kayli Kvistad drove home freshman Hannah Adams on a ground out Becca Schulte at second.
The Gators put the game away in the sixth with a three-run inning that extend the lead out to 7-0. Jordan Roberts produced a pinch-hit RBI single through the left side of the LSU infield to score pinch runner Lily Mann. Hannah Adams drove in the second run with her SAC fly to center that was dropped by Emily Griggs and Nicole DeWitt pushed across Voss with a bases loaded hit by pitch.
Barnhill closed out the game as she struck out the side for the third time.
Game two is set for Saturday, April 28, at noon with Senior Day activities beginning at 11:30 a.m.
On Kelly being so efficient in the circle…
“She threw the ball well. I am proud of the way she commanded her pitches and she gave up no free passes, so she really got after it tonight.”
On Alex Voss…
“When you can get big hits from the bottom of your lineup, especially your nine-hole hitter, it helps to score more runs. It turns around the game to the top of the lineup and gives them more chances, it is huge. That is as big of a hit as Alex has had in her career and I am really proud of her.”
From the Players
On today’s win…
“Today was an awesome win. Carly Hoover is a great pitcher and to see our batters swing the way they did against her was amazing. We are moving in a great direction for postseason.”
“I was out of my own head tonight and it really helped me pitch better tonight.”
On this year’s senior class…
“These are nearly impossible shoes to fill. They are the last class here to win a national championship and they have instilled what it takes in us to win one. We want to win one for them this year.”
“I am trying to do my job and turn the lineup over. I didn’t think I would hit a double, but I was really happy it was down. I have been working more reps and getting better at what I’m good at. We are coming in to our own right now and we are doing this for each other.”
“Sooner or later they are going to stop playing me deep, but I am going to take advantage of it now.”
· Florida improved to 29-32 in the all-time series against LSU and 12-12 when playing at home.
o The team is now 21-5 against Top 25 competition with 11 shutouts and has 20 wins against RPI Top 25 teams.
o UF is now 10-2 when playing on network television.
o The Gators are also now 39-2 when scoring first.
· Barnhill tied her season-high with 15 strikeouts in her outing against the Tigers.
o She has now tallied 10 or more strikeouts in a game for 14th time this season.
o She also struck out the side three times and has now stuck out the side 28 times.
o The shutout today was the 30th of Barnhill’s career and is now tied with Delanie Gourley
· As a team, the Gators have produced 19 games where the pitching staff has struck out 10 or more batters.
o Florida holds a 19-0 record when striking out 10 or more batters in a game.
· Alex Voss tied her career-high with two RBI in tonight’s game.
· Amanda Lorenz went 3-for-3 at the plate and is now 12-for-17 over her last six games.