The Gators took on the #19 and #7 teams in the country on Saturday and topped both. Florida will face NC State and the tournament host, USF on Sunday.
SATURDAY ( GAME ONE):
FLORIDA 6, MICHIGAN 0
Tampa, FL- Florida softball moves to 2-0 on the season with a 6-0 victory over #19 Michigan to begin the second day of the USF Opening Weekend Tournament.
The Gators got on the board early with a run in the second and in the third, then grinded it out with solid defense and pitching before adding four insurance runs in the seventh frame.
After a scoreless first inning, the Gators got one across in the second inning when Hannah Sipos singled to center to score pinch runner Jade Caraway.
Florida would tack on another run in the third inning when junior (transfer) Kendyl Lindaman hit a triple to right field that UM RF Haley Hoogenraad attempted to dive for, thus allowing the ball to roll to the fence and easily score senior Amanda Lorenz.
The Gators had no shortage of baserunners, and prior to the seventh inning Florida had hit only 1-10 with runners in scoring position. However, that changed in the final inning of play.
The Gators added four runs in the seventh to stretch the lead. Jaimie Hoover had the big double to deep center that scored Lorenz and pinch runner Haven Sampson before scoring herself the next at-bat. Sipos had a sacrifice fly that scored what proved to be the final run of the game.
Senior pitcher Kelly Barnhill threw all seven innings for Florida on an incredibly efficient 65 pitches. She allowed only two singles, but more importantly didn’t walk a single Wolverine (she did hit one in the sixth inning).
- The Gators are now 26-0 all-time in tournaments at USF.
- Amanda Lorenz finished 3-4 and scored two runs.
- C Kendyl Lindaman finished 2-4 and recorded her first RBI as a Gator.
- Florida pounded Michigan P Meghan Beaubien for ten hits and four earned runs.
- Outfielder Jaimie Hoover: “I tried to have a short memory. I had some good at-bats, even the strikeout…”, “We swung at a lot of balls (which contributed to 11 strikeouts of Gators hitters).”
W: Barnhill (2-0)
L: Beaubien (0-1)
SATURDAY (GAME TWO):
FLORIDA 3, ARIZONA 2
Tampa, FL- In the second half of the back to back, Florida faced #7 Arizona who had won both of their contests on Friday (including a victory over #19 Michigan).
The Gators defeated the Wildcats 3-2 to move to 3-0 on the season. In the win, sophomore Natalie Lugo earned her first win of 2019 while Kelly Barnhill finished the game for the Gators and earned her first save of the year.
Freshman pitcher Danni Farley toed the rubber for the Gators and pitched a quick, three up-three down inning. The Gators were able to strike first when sophomore Danielle Romanello crushed a ball to right-center to put Florida ahead 2-0.
Arizona would respond in a hurry, Dejah Mulipola took the third offering of the inning deep to left to put the Wildcats within one run.
The Gators responded in their next at-bat with as Jordan Roberts crushed a homer to right center to give Florida some breathing room.
The second and third inning saw Farley struggle with her command and with runners on first and second in the third, head coach Tim Walton had enough. Walton called on Lugo out of the bullpen and the move paid off in spades. Lugo would retire the first two batters she faced to escape the jame, and would pitch 3.2 innings overall before giving way to Barnhill.
Barnhill retired the side in order and sent Florida home with the W while collecting her first save in 2019.
- The Gators are now 27-0 all-time in tournaments at USF.
- For both Romanello and Roberts it was their first homer of the new season.
- The Gators hit 1-9 (.111 average) with runners on base, but only had one at bat with a runner in scoring position (0-1).
- Florida struck out six times to bring their total to 17 for the entire day.
- Head coach Tim Walton: “Natalie Lugo was the key to the victory.”
- Pitcher Natalie Lugo: “I just went in trying to pick up Danni..Not trying to get too ‘into the moment.’”
W: Lugo (1-0)
L: Taylor McQuillin (0-2)
S: Barnhill (1)