TAMPA, Fla. - A pair of extraordinary efforts in the circle by Katie Chronister and Kelly Barnhill helped propel the No.4-ranked University of Florida softball team to a doubleheader sweep of Delaware and No. 25 USF at the USF Softball Stadium on Sunday.
Chronister and Barnhill both threw one-hitters in back-to-back games; it was Chronister's first collegiate start and Barnhill's third one-hitter of her career.
The Gators (5-0) wrapped up the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament on an offensive explosion as the team hit five home runs in the sweep of the Blue Hens (0-5) and Bulls (3-1). Sophomore Amanda Lorenz hit two, one in each game, while Jaimie Hoover, Nicole DeWitt and Sophia Reynoso each tallied one.
In the matchup against Delaware, Chronister was efficient as she threw a total of 55 pitches while walking one and striking out four. Delaware's lone hit of the game came in the second inning when Devon Steiner singled to center field. From there the Gators offense overpowered the Blue Hens hurlers en route to a 9-0 (5) victory.
Barnhill's third career one-hitter was nearly a perfect game as she struck out 12 of the 19 batters faced with zero walks. The lone hit came in the bottom of the fourth inning of play when Astin Donovan pushed a ball through the right side of the Florida infield.
Lorenz broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third inning with her three-run home run and pushed Florida's lead out to 5-0 with a double to left center field.
DeWitt ripped a two-run home run in the top of the sixth and Reynoso capped off the scoring with a home run over the high left field wall.
Coaches Corner On the biggest key to having success today: "The biggest key for me today was the one with the long ball. The ability for us to hit the ball out of the ballpark. It made a big difference - made scoring runs a lot easier - and I thought that was those huge for us."
On throwing back-to-back one-hitters: "The depth of our pitching staff and the looks we get from them are really phenomenal - and we made only one error on the weekend too. There were five games that we played really good defense, had good base running and pitched extraordinary well. I think that's a really good combination for a 5-0 sweep."
On how the young players performed this weekend: "There were some big moments and at the end of the day you definitely saw the youth but I saw the youth adjust and I thought that was huge."
Notables: Kelly Barnhill threw her third career one-hitter in a 8-0 (6) victory over No. 25/24 USF (Feb. 12, 2017). She struck out 12 batters and issued zero walks over 87 pitches.
Katie Chronister received her first career start and threw her first career one-hitter against Delaware (Feb. 12, 2017). She struck out four and issued one walk over 55 pitches in a 9-0 (5) victory.
Amanda Lorenz set a new career-high for RBIs after she drove in five runs against No. 25/24 USF (Feb. 12, 2017). Her previous career mark was four RBIs against Texas A&M (April 29, 2016) Jaimie Hoover hit her first career home run, a grand slam, in the bottom of the second inning against Delaware (Feb. 12, 2017) in a 9-0 (5) victory.
Sophia Reynoso hit her first career home run in the top of the sixth inning against No. 25/24 USF (Feb. 12, 2017).
The Gators will hit the road one more time before the team hosts the Aquafina Invitational on Feb. 17-19 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Florida will take on Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla. for a solo contest scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex.