Special report on the Florida Gators softball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The second-seeded Florida softball team took the first game of the Super Regionals, 5-4, against 15-seed Texas A&M in dramatic fashion at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Thursday night.
UF found itself in a three-run hole after the top of the fourth inning, trailing Texas A&M 4-1, but battled back to take the game 5-4. Florida scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the walk-off victory – the third true walk-off of the season. The Gator comeback was the 10th of the season and tied the largest deficit Florida has fought back from.
Four walks, two errors and a homerun by Amanda Lorenz capped the seventh inning and allowed the Gator comeback. Aleshia Ocasio and Janell Wheaton showed patience at the plate in the frame and it paid off. Ocasio’s two-out walk scored Lily Mann to tie the game at 4-4.
The Aggies made a pitching change before Wheaton came up to bat, but she walked on a full count to score Jordan Matthews and give the Gators the victory.
Florida moved to 54-8 on the season behind the arm of right-hander Kelly Barnhill (29-1). She notched eight strikeouts in the victory and only allowed two hits to the Aggies.
How It Happened
|Top 3rd||0-2||Hudek singled through the right side with the bases loaded to score both Russell and George, giving Texas A&M a 2-0 lead.|
|Top 3rd||0-3||With the bases loaded, Show scored on a passed ball to put the Aggies up 3-0.|
|Bottom 3rd||1-3||Sophia Reynoso walked to lead off the inning, then scored on Amanda Lorenz’s double off the centerfield wall.|
|Top 4th||1-4||Alderink homered to left field with no outs in the inning to give Texas A&M a 4-1 lead.|
|Bottom 4th||2-4||After a leadoff single and passed ball put Jaimie Hoover on second, Janell Wheaton singled to left-center field to score Hoover.|
|Bottom 7th||3-4||Amanda Lorenz hit her 11th homerun of the season to bring the Gators to within one at 4-3. She crushed the ball to dead centerfield.|
|Bottom 7th||4-4||Two Aggie errors loaded the bases for Florida and Aleshia Ocasio drew a bases loaded walk to score Lily Mann from third.|
|Bottom 7th||5-4||With the bases remaining loaded with two outs, Texas A&M made a pitching change. Janell Wheaton drew the game-winning walk to score Matthews, putting the Gators up 5-4 and gave UF the 1-0 advantage in the Super Regionals.|
With a walk issued to Sophia Reynoso in the bottom of the third inning, the Gators set a new single-season record for most walks in a season. That walk marked the 333rd of the year, passing the previous mark of 332 from 2013. The Gators finished the game with 338, just 11 walks off the NCAA record (Auburn, 2016).
- Florida improved to 18-6 in Super Regional action and now holds a 17-4 all-time record against Texas A&M.
- This was the 10th come-from-behind victory for Florida this season and tied the largest deficit the squad has come back from (Missouri, 4-1, May 6)
o That was the third true walk-off of the season for Florida
- Amanda Lorenz produced her 20th multi-hit game of the year after going 3-for-3 at the plate.
o Lorenz also extended her hitting streak to three games.
o Her homerun in the seventh inning was her 11th of the season.
- This year, the pitching staff has amassed 533 strikeouts. It’s only the fourth time in program history that the Gators have had more than 500 strikeouts in a season.
- With her eight strikeouts in the game, Kelly Barnhill moves into second all-time in Florida’s history with 834 in her career.
o She passed Hannah Rogers (833) to claim second outright
- The Gators drew seven walks in the game and now have 338 walks on the season as a team.
o The mark currently leads the country with the next closest team is McNeese with 283.
o The NCAA record for walks in a season is 349, which Auburn set in 2016 over 70 games played.
The Gators and the Aggies will return to action Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. for the second game of the NCAA Super Regional. The game is set to be aired on ESPN2.