Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 5-seed Florida kicked off the NCAA Super Regional on a high note, coming up with a 3-0 win over the No. 12-seed Tennessee Lady Vols on Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Florida is just one win away from its 10th Women’s College World Series appearance (’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’13, ’14, ’15, ’17, ’18).
The Gators (48-15) jumped out in front early 2-0 against the Lady Vols (42-16) with a trio of hits in the bottom of the initial frame of play. A key leadoff walk from Amanda Lorenz along with RBI base hits from Kendyl Lindaman and Sophia Reynoso gave right-handed started Kelly Barnhill (33-11) much needed breathing room to start the game.
Tennessee threatened in the top of the third inning and put pressure on Barnhill and the Florida defense. A pair of hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Lady Vols, but the Gators battled through the inning and forced UT to leave the bases loaded.
Offensively, UF went on to put runners on in the second, third and fourth innings, but finally broke through for its third run of the game in the fifth. Jordan Roberts set the table with a leadoff single to deep center field and Jaimie Hoover blasted a double to left center that scored pinch-runner Amanda Beane from first to extend the lead 3-0.
How It Happened – No. 12 Tennessee – W, 3-0
|B-1st||1-0||After an Amanda Lorenz leadoff walk, Kendyl Lindaman put the Gators on the board with an RBI double over the outstretched arms of Lady Vols centerfielder Cailin Hannon that scored Lorenz from first.|
|B-1st||2-0||With runners on the corners, Sophia Reynoso plated Lindaman with an RBI single to left field.|
|B-5th||3-0||A long single by Jordan Robertsset the stage for Jaimie Hoover’sRBI double to left center field that scored pinch-runner Amanda Beane.|
- Senior Amanda Lorenz is the NCAA active career leader with 235 walks after she drew three tonight against the Lady Vols and is now tied for the Southeastern Conference record of 235 set by Arkansas’ Devon Wallace (2012-’15).
- Florida holds a 20-7 (.741) record in Super Regional play.
- The program has outscored Super Regional opponents 100-42 and produced nine shutouts.
- The Gators and Tennessee have only met twice before in NCAA Tournament action, but this was the first time in a Super Regional.
- 5/28/2015 | W, 7-2 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Women’s College World Series
- 5/30/3013 | L, 9-2 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Women’s College World Series
- Jaimie Hoover and Alex Voss both posted multi-hit games tonight. It’s the eighth multi-hit game for Hoover and just the fourth for Voss on the season.
- Kelly Barnhill picked up her 33rd win of the season and moved to 103-19 in her career.
- The Gators have now recorded 25 shutouts in the 2019 campaign.
- Barnhill picked up her 14th shutout of the season, which ties her for the nation’s lead in the category.
Head Coach Tim Walton
“Thanks again for the crowd tonight – I’m not sure what the total number was tonight, but it was the biggest crowd we had in postseason this year, so thanks for cheering for our team. Overall it was solid all the way around – we had good swings, Kelly was really good again and defensively we had some pretty special plays. Good to see us be able to come out and play well in a game like this, I’m happy with the momentum, effort and the overall confidence of this group.”
Senior Kelly Barnhill
On her getting more control as the game went on
“As the game went on my pitches were getting better and better. Sometimes the longer you are out there the more of a groove you get in and can feel your pitches better – I think that’s what was happening at the end of this game.”
Senior Amanda Lorenz
On seeing Matty Moss
“We just need to swing at strikes. She’s a great pitcher and they have a great staff, but we are not necessarily changing our plans for her. She’s a good pitcher, but we had a good plan tonight of swinging at strikes.”
On the lead in the first
“It was a lot of fun, I’ll tell you that. Giving a pitcher like Kelly a lead like that, it was really fun. We had some great vibes in the dugout.”
Junior Jaimie Hoover
On her clutch hitting
“I feel really good at the plate right now. The energy today was amazing in the whole facility and I just wanted to go up there and compete for my team.”
The Gators and the Lady Vols will continue Super Regional play Saturday, May 25, at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Eric Frede and Madison Shipman will be on the call.