Florida Gators softball sweeps Thursday doubleheader

Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:

FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 3 Florida outlasted New Mexico, 1-0, in extra innings and ousted No. 20 Oregon, 2-1, Thursday morning during the Judi Garman Classic at Anderson Family Field presented by USA Softball.

The Gators (20-1) won their first extra-inning game of the season when Jade Carawayroped a double to right center in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Lobos (5-10). Sophomore Natalie Lugo kept the New Mexico offense on its heels for seven innings as she tied her career-high with 13 strikeouts before she gave way to Kelly Barnhill (11-1) in the eighth inning.

With the game scoreless and the international tie-breaker rule in effect, Barnhill struck out the side to set up the UF offense for the win.

Against the Ducks (11-5), Caraway kept Oregon off the scoreboard early after she reeled in a deep fly ball that was headed over the center field wall back into play in second inning. OU eventually broke the scoreless tie in the fifth.

Barnhill struck out nine in the game over seven innings of work and limited the Ducks to just three hits en route to her second victory of the day.

How It Happened – New Mexico – W, 1-0

Inning Score Play
B-8th 1-0 With no outs and a 2-2 count at the plate, junior Jade Carawaydoubled to right center field to score freshman Hannah Siposfrom second base. Sipos was placed on second due to the international tie-breaker rule.

How It Happened – No. 20 Oregon – W, 2-1

Inning Score Play
T-5th 0-1 April Utecht broke the scoreless tie and put the Ducks ahead via a solo home run over the left field wall.
B-5th 1-1 Lindaman tied the game with a two-out single up the middle that scored Caraway from second. Caraway reached earlier via a miscue by the Ducks left fielder.
B-5th 2-1 Jaimie Hoover pushed across the go-ahead run on a looping single to right field that allowed pinch-runner Haven Sampson.

Notable Notes

  • The Gators improved their all-time record against New Mexico to 2-0
    • Today was the first extra-inning game against the Lobos.
  • UF improved its all-time record versus Oregon to 10-2 and 8-2 when playing in neutral site games.
  • The team now sports a 4-1 record against opponents ranked inside the top 25 of both national polls.
  • Lugo tied her career-high with 13 strikeouts against New Mexico. Her previous career-high occurred last week at Jacksonville.
    • Today was the second 10 + strikeout game for Lugo this season.
    • The West Covina, Calif. native struck out the side in the seventh. It’s the fifth time she has struck out the side this season.
  • Barnhill struck out side twice during her two appearances today and has now struck out the side nine times this season.
  • With the two wins today Barnhill improved her career record to 81-9.
  • The extra-inning win is the first for the Gators since Feb. 25, 2017 when the team bested Liberty 2-1 in 10 innings.

Next Up
The Gators continue action at the Judi Garman Classic Friday with a rematch against No. 2 UCLA at 2:15 p.m. (ET)/11:15 a.m. (PT) and No. 5 Washington 9 p.m. (ET)/6 p.m. (PT).

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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.