BATON ROUGE, La. -- Freshman Amanda Lorenz went 3-for-3 with a career-high tying three RBI and freshman Kelly Barnhill picked up her 11th win as No. 1 Florida defeated No. 6 LSU, 6-2, to sweep its second SEC series of the season.
The Gators (33-1/8-1 SEC) swept the Tigers (26-8/3-6 SEC) for the first time since April 3-4, 2010. In addition, this weekend marked the first time since April 18-19, 2009 that Florida recorded a three-game sweep of the Tigers in Baton Rouge, La. During that series, UF shutout the Tigers in all three games. This was fourth time in school history that Florida completed a three-game sweep of LSU.
It took the Gators until the ninth inning to score in last night's game, so Florida flipped that script and got on the board early on Saturday with two runs in the third inning. After UF stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the second inning, the Gators didn't make that mistake twice. With the bases loaded and two out in the third inning, Lorenz recorded a two-run single to left. Seniors Kelsey Stewart and Kirsti Merritt set the table for the rookie, as they recorded a pair of bloop singles to get into scoring position.
Stewart and sophomore Nicole DeWitt led off the fifth inning with a back-to-back singles to place runners on first and second with no one out. Merritt followed with a sacrifice bunt, but instead of just moving the runners up just one base, Stewart scored all the way from second on the play. With DeWitt on third after the sacrifice, Lorenz drove her in with a sacrifice fly to center field.
LSU answered with a run in the fifth and sixth innings, both unearned. Sandra Simmons accounted for both of the Tigers runs as she led off the fifth with a single, moved to third on a Florida miscue and scored on a fielder's choice. In the sixth, Simmons recorded a clutch two-out RBI single up the middle. UF scored the game's final two runs in the seventh when sophomore Kayli Kvistad roped a two-run single into left.
In the circle, Barnhill (11-0) allowed a two runs (both unearned) on five hits while notching seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched. LSU's Carley Hoover (10-3) shouldered the loss as she tossed four innings and gave up four runs. Sophomore Aleshia Ocasio relieved the rookie with two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh and retired the second hitter she faced to get out of the jam. For her work out of the bullpen, Ocasio earned the fourth save of her season.
Florida Head Coach Tim Walton:
On the sweep...
"Our pitching and defense was the difference this weekend. We made some hard defensive plays look really easy, including some great plays up the middle by Kelsey Stewart and Nicole DeWitt. However, to me more than anything we have to give the credit to our pitching staff. All three of them have done a phenomenal job of keeping us in every game."
On Amanda Lorenz...
"I tried a little different lineup today, just to give Amanda (Lorenz) a little bit of a break. I think she's been getting everyone's best shot, which she should, but today she performed really well. She had some important hits in some big spots for us. I thought she responded very well and was exactly what we needed today."
Next Up: Florida will host Alabama in a three-game series next weekend. The action begins Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET. Live streaming will be available to subscribers on SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.