Florida Gators softball splits Friday doubleheader against top five teams

Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:

FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 3 Florida split Friday’s pair of games against Top-5 competition from the PAC-12 Conference. The Gators fell, 4-0, to No. 2 UCLA in the opening game of the day but rebounded to take down No. 5 Washington, 1-0, in an eight-inning thriller at Anderson Family Field presented by USA Softball.

UF (21-2) took down the Huskies (15-2) thanks to an outstanding effort in the circle by senior right-hander Kelly Barnhill and the Gators defense out in the field. Barnhill ended the night with 10 strikeouts and limited UW to just one infield hit and a pair of walks on 102 pitches.

Defensively, Hannah Adams flashed the leather at second base as she led the team with four assists and a trio of putouts.

The Gators battled it out with the Bruins (16-1) for the second time in three days. Sophomore Natalie Lugo (6-1) drew the start in the circle and held the UCLA bats in check for 4.0 innings. UF’s defense stood tall as Lugo and company the limited the opposing batters to just three hits through the first four innings of play.

UCLA finally broke through in the fifth and scored four runs on a string of hits to take the lead. Junior Katie Chronister came in relief of Lugo and provided a season-high 3.0 innings of no-hit shutout softball. Chronister only allowed a pair of runners to reach base via a hit-by-pitch and a throwing miscue.

Offensively, UF picked up a double from Kendyl Lindaman (1-for-2) and a sharply hit infield single from Sophia Reynoso (1-for-3).

How It Happened – No. 5 Washington – W, 1-0

Inning Score Play
T-8th 1-0 With the bases loaded and inheriting an 0-1 count, pinch-hitter freshman Brittany Allendrew four straight balls to break the scoreless tie and push across Hannah Adams for the winning run.

How It Happened – No. 2 UCLA – L, 4-0

Inning Score Play
T-5th 0-2 After back-to-back singles and a walk, Bubba Nickles scored Kelli Godin and Kinsley Washington on a single up the middle.
T-5th 0-3 Aaliyah Jordan doubled to left field to plate Briana Perez who reached base via a walk.
T-5th 0-4 Rachel Garcia drove in the final run of the game on an RBI single that looped in to center field and scored Nickles.

Notable Notes

  • Florida is now 4-2 on the season against Top-25 teams and picked up the season’s first win over a Top 5 program.
  • The Gators improved to 2-0 on the season in extra-inning games.
  • Barnhill notched her fourth 10 + strikeout game of the season with 10 against the Huskies.
    • Barnhill now has 951 career strikeouts and sits second all-time to UF record holder Stacey Nelson who has 1,116.
    • On the season Barnhill has 101 strikeouts through 65.2 innings pitched.
  • After today UF dropped to 6-7 all-time against the Bruins.
  • Junior left-hander Katie Chronisterturned in a season-high 3.0 innings against No. 2 UCLA and did not allow a hit or a walk on 34 pitches.

Next Up
The Gators look to conclude their play at the Judi Garman Classic Saturday with a solo game against Cal State – Northridge at 10 a.m. (PT)/1 p.m. (ET).

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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.