Florida softball opened the first day of the Bubly Invitational with a pair of back-to-back contests played within the friendly confines of Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators opened the day with mid-afternoon start against a familiar opponent before taking on FAMU in the nightcap.
On Saturday, the Gators topped Illinois State and Syracuse to move to 16-0 on the season.
FRIDAY (GAME ONE):
FLORIDA 7, ILLINOIS STATE 0
Gainesville, FL – Florida opened the Bubly Invitational with a familiar opponent. The Gators have met the Redbirds in both tournaments they’ve already played (the USF Opening Weekend Tournament, Littlewood Classic). The Gators got on the scoreboard early and often, but were unable to run-rule Illinois State in this one.
Florida improved to 13-0 with the victory and play five more games in the Invitational.
Florida jumped on Illinois State early with three runs in the first. Hanna Adams hit a single with the bases loaded that forced 1B Jordan Matthews in to score. Third-sacker Hannah Sipos followed with a blooper to center that added a pair of runs to the scoreboard.
The Gators added four runs in the third inning to put the game essentially out of reach. DP Jordan Roberts hit a leadoff double which was followed by a walk to C Kendyl Lindaman. Lindaman was pinch run for, and both Roberts and Lily Mann would come around to score. A single by Alex Voss scored Roberts while Sophia Reynoso was hit by a pitch to score Mann. Amanda Lorenz was then hit which scored Sipos. Jordan Roberts completed the scoring cycle by walking to force Voss home, which increased the lead to 7-0.
Kelly Barnhill (7-0) tossed five scoreless innings, recording ten strikeouts and earning the win. She was relieved in the circle by freshman Danni Farley in the sixth inning.
- Kelly Barnhill’s final line: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 10 K, 0 BB
- Danni Farley’s final line: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB
- Jordan Roberts finished 2-2 with a single, double, and a pair of walks
- Florida went 5-11 (.455) with runners in scoring position
W: Barnhill (7-0)
L: Mack Leonard (0-2)
FRIDAY (GAME TWO):
FLORIDA 4, FAMU 0
Gainesville, FL- The Gators completed the first day of the Bubly Invitational with a 4-0 win over Florida A&M (1-8). The Rattlers entered the game coming off their first win of the season (a run-rule victory over Syracuse earlier in the day), and gave Florida fits all evening. Despite the close score, the Gators came away with the W and improved to 14-0 on the season.
Freshman Elizabeth Hightower got the start in the circle for Florida, but only lasted two innings (seven batters) before head coach Tim Walton pulled her in favor of Natalie Lugo. After the game, Walton explained, “I didn’t think Elizabeth had her best stuff today.”
The Gators got on the board in the third inning as Amanda Lorenz ledoff the frame with a walk and came around to score on Jaimie Hoover’s single four batters later.
While there wasn’t much in the way of offense in the until the sixth inning, the game wasn’t short on drama. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Jordan Matthews led off with a fly out to left field. However, Walton realized that it was a different outfielder than had started the game, but was never announced. This set Walton off on the plate umpire, but to no avail. Matthews was still out and the game continued. When asked whether he would address the situation after the game, Walton replied sternly, “no.”
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Gators added three insurance runs as Amanda Lorenz hit a colossal homer that landed on Museum Road behind the right field fence. Lorenz was able to hit after a pair of two out hits by Alex Voss and Sophia Reynoso.
It was more than enough for Lugo who completed the game by retiring the side in the seventh to seal the victory.
- Elizabeth Hightower finished with a statline of: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB
- Natalie Lugo’s final line: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 9 K, 1 BB
- Amanda Lorenz went 2-3 with a walk and scored two runs. She is now batting .476 on the year.
- Sophia Reynoso went 2-3 in the game.
W: Lugo (5-0)
L: Kyaira Brown (1-2)
SATURDAY (Game One):
FLORIDA 10, ILLINOIS STATE 2
Gainesville, FL- The Gators began the second day of the Bubly Invitational with an 11:00 AM first pitch against Illinois State. The Gators would run-rule the Redbirds in the sixth inning as hit a two-run single to end the contest. Florida moves to 15-0 with the win while Illinois State falls to 1-12 on the year.
The Gators opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning. Jaimie Hoover led the inning off with a walk which was immediately followed by a Hannah Adams single. Third baseman Hannah Sipos singled to plate Hoover and two batters later Amanda Lorenz grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Adams.
Alex Voss hammered a drive that easily cleared the fence in left-center. The three-run shot put Florida ahead 5-1 through three innings of play.
Voss then led off the fifth inning with a stand-up triple which was followed by a Danielle Romanello triple. Freshman Cheyenne Lindsey singled to score Amanda Beane (who pinch ran for Romanello) and recorded her first career RBI.
Natalie Lugo pitched five innings in earning her sixth win of the season. Elizabeth Hightower pitched an inning of relief work to close the game out.
- Alex Voss went 2-2 with 4 RBI and a walk in the game.
- Hannah Adams went 3-4 with three runs scored.
- Amanda Lorenz went 2-5 in the leadoff spot.
- Natalie Lugo’s final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 BB
W: Lugo (6-0)
L: Shannon Felde (1-5)
FLORIDA 8, SYRACUSE 0
Gainesville, FL- Florida faced Syracuse out of the ACC in the game Saturday.
The Gators picked up an early lead as Amanda Lorenz crushed a homer to lead of the game. For Lorenz it was her fifth of the year and her third leading off a game.
Florida added to the lead in the third inning when Jordan Matthews came around thanks to two walks and two hit batters. Florida scored a run in the inning despite not recording a hit (or reaching on an error).
Florida added four runs in the fourth thanks to a Kendyl Lindaman grand slam that bounced of the scoreboard in left center.
Hannah Adams hit a double in the sixth that scored Jade Caraway (pinch running for Danielle Romanello. Alex Voss finished the game with her second triple of the afternoon and put Florida up 8-0 for the win.
- Alex Voss finished the game going 2-3 with a triple and an RBI.
- Jordan Roberts didn’t record an at-bat, walking in both of her plate appearances.
- Kelly Barnhill’s final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 K, 0 BB
- The Gators went 10-21 on advancement opportunities.
W: Barnhill (8-0)
L: Miranda Hearn (0-3)
Florida will complete the Bubly Invitational on Sunday with games against Syracuse and Florida A&M before traveling out west to California next week.