FLORIDA 15, ILLINOIS STATE 0 (5)
Tampa, FL- The Florida Gators softball team opened the 2019 season with an offensive explosion. Florida downed Illinois State 15-0 Friday evening in the opening day of the USF Opening Weekend Tournament.
The Gators allowed the Redbirds a single hit and sent the red birds away with their second loss of the day (Illinois fell to NC State 10-9 earlier in the day).
The Gators will continue play in the tournament with a pair of contests against #19 Michigan and #7 Arizona on Saturday before wrapping up the first weekend of the season on Sunday.
The Gators got off to a fast start scoring four runs in the first inning. Senior Amanda Lorenz hit an RBI double that bounced off ISU CF Alyssa Weibel’s glove that scored sophomore Hannah Adams from first. Jaimie Hoover followed up three batters later with a 2-RBI triple that put the Gators ahead 3-0 and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
The first wouldn’t be the only inning the Gators would put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard, as they did in the third, and fifth innings while also adding a run in the fourth to reach the final score of 15.
In the third, Florida would manufacture runs using ISU errors and walks to go along with a trio of inning starting singles by Danielle Romanello, Hoover and Jordan Matthews.
The fifth inning was highlighted by the massive three-run home run by Sophia Reynoso that struck a light pole behind the left-center fence. There was no-doubt when the ball was hit that it would carry over the fence.
In the circle, ace Kelly Barnhill allowed a single hit in three innings of work before giving way to sophomore Natalie Lugo and freshman Danni Farley to finish the game. Barnhill finished with seven strikeouts while Lugo managed one as well.
- The Gators are now 25-0 all-time in tournaments at USF.
- Amanda Lorenz finished 3-4 with a double and 3 RBI
- Sophia Reynoso finished 1-3 on the night, but had 4 RBI and scored two runs.
- Eight Gators finished the night with an RBI.
- In total, 18 Gators saw the field including seven players that had never worn the Orange and Blue (5 freshman, 2 transfers)
- Head coach Tim Walton: “I thought we played good, not great.”
- Outfielder/First baseman Amanda Lorenz: “This lineup is really fun to be in.”
- Pitcher Kelly Barnhill: “No jitters at this point, it’s just the excitement of going out there and getting to play with your teammates for the first time (outside of fall practice).
W: Barnhill (1-0)
L: Shannon Felde (0-2)