Florida Gators softball sweeps two ranked teams on Saturday

Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:

TAMPA, Fla. – No. 5 Florida dispatched No. 19 Michigan and No. 7 Arizona Saturday afternoon to stay undefeated at the USF Opening Weekend Invitational.

Senior hurler Kelly Barnhill (2-0) picked up the complete-game victory over the Wolverines (1-2) and secured her fourth career save, first of the season, when she stifled the Wildcats (2-1) rally in the final inning of game two.

The Gators (3-0) scored in a variety ways throughout the day, which gave plenty of support for Barnhill, sophomore Natalie Lugo (1-0) and freshman Danni Farley in the circle. Lugo entered with one out in the third inning of the Arizona game and provided 3.2 innings of quality work to pick up her first victory of the year.

Offensively, the wealth was spread pretty evenly across the lineup with senior Amanda Lorenz and Kendyl Lindaman leading the way going 3-for-7 at the plate. However, a pair of home runs from junior Jordan Roberts and sophomore Danielle Romanelloproved to be the difference in the win against Arizona.

How It Happened – No. 19 Michigan

Inning Score Play
2nd 1-0 Hannah Sipos notched her first career RBI with a shallow single to center field that scored pinch runner Jade Caraway.
3rd 2-0 Lindaman drove in Lorenz with a triple under the diving outstretched glove of Michigan right fielder
7th 4-0 Jaimie Hoover doubled to center field which scored Lorenz and Sampson. She then advanced to third on the throw home.
7th 5-0 Hoover raced home and scored after Roberts ripped a ground ball to third. Roberts reached base thanks to a throwing error.
7th 6-0 Hannah Sipos concluded the scoring with a SAC fly to center field that scored pinch runner Amanda Beane.

How It Happened – No. 7 Arizona

Inning Score Play
1st 2-0 Romanello cranked her first home run of the year after she lifted a 1-2 pitch over the right field wall. Lindaman scored on the play after reaching via a fielder’s choice.
2nd 2-1 The Wildcats closed down the Florida lead in the next frame with a leadoff solo home run by Dejah Mulipola.
2nd 3-1 Roberts extended the Gators lead back out to two runs when she smacked a solo home run to right center field.
6th 3-2 Malia Martinez attempted to rally the Wildcats offense with a solo home run to left field.

Standout Statistic
Florida head coach Tim Walton improved to 12-2 overall against Michigan’s Carol Hutchins and 5-0 against Arizona’s Mike Candrea after today’s sweep. Walton improved to 848-213 as a head coach and currently leads all active NCAA DI coaches with a .799 win percentage.

Hutchins (1,572-506-1) and Candrea (1,565-405-2) are both legends in the sport and have combined for over 3,137 victories with win percentages of (.756) and (.793) respectively.

Notable Notes

  • The program improved to 308-233 against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and 265-144 against teams in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll.
  • This is the sixth consecutive season that UF has opened its year at a tournament held by USF; over that span the Gators hold a 26-0 record.

Next Up
The Gators return to action Sunday to take on N.C. State at 1:30 p.m. and host USF at 4:15 p.m.

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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.