TAMPA, Fla. -- No. 5 Florida closed out the USF Opening Weekend Invitational Sunday with victories against N.C. State, 2-1, and USF, 7-1, at the USF Softball Stadium.
Barnhill (4-0) picked up both decisions from the circle as she entered in relief in the first game against the Wolfpack (3-2) and tossed five quality innings in her start versus the Bulls (1-4). The Marietta, Ga. native notched 14 strikeouts through 8.0 innings pitched in the two games.
Against N.C. State, Natalie Lugo received the start and held the Wolfpack, who beat No. 7 Arizona the previous game, to just two hits and struck out six without allowing a walk. Freshman Elizabeth Hightower also saw her first collegiate action in relief against the Bulls. Hightower pitched the final two innings of the game and struck out four of the six batters she faced.
Timely hitting also played a factor in the pair of wins for the Gators today. Jordan Matthews provided more walk-off heroics with her SAC fly in the bottom of the seventh against N.C. State, while Hannah Adams broke open the game against the Bulls with her two-out grand slam in the fourth.
Not to be overlooked, freshman Hannah Sipos had one of the most key at-bats against USF. Sipos loaded the bases for the Gators with her 13-pitch at-bat that resulted in a walk and gave Adams the opportunity to break the game open with her big hit.
Florida returns home to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Tuesday, Feb. 12, for its first game inside the newly renovated stadium. The Gators will take on Japan in an exhibition at 6 p.m. and will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony outside the main gates at 4 p.m.