The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Barnhill pitches No. 1 Florida to 2-0 victory

2117 days ago
Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators improved to 16-2 in SEC play after sophomore Kelly Barnhill tied her season-high with 16 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory over No. 20 Ole Miss at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Florida (42-3, 16-2 SEC) scored first for the 37th time this season and posted two runs in the first inning. Amanda Lorenz reached with an infield single to Ole Miss (31-14, 6-10) shortstop Paige McKinney on a 0-2 count.

Nicole DeWitt put down her fifth SAC bunt of the season to move Lorenz into scoring position for junior Kayli Kvistad. With a two balls and pair of strikes against her, Kvistad roped another Florida single up the middle of the Rebels defense to open up a 1-0 lead.

The Gators were poised to strike again in the inning when full-count walk by Jaimie Hoover and an error by McKinney at shortstop on a Chelsea Herndon ground ball loaded the bases with two outs.

Aleshia Ocasio extended Florida's lead out to 2-0 with an RBI single to right field that scored Janell Wheaton. Hoover rounded third as she looked to plate a third run but Ole Miss right fielder Kylan Becker threw a strike to catcher Courtney Syrett at home for the final out.

Ocasio finished the game 2-for-3 for her third multi-hit game of the season.

The two runs were all that Barnhill needed in the circle. The Marietta, Ga. native struck out 16 of the 23 batters she faced during her 11th complete-game performance. The Rebels managed to gather a pair of hits, all from their catcher Becker who went 2-for-3 at the plate.

In between the singles from Becker in the first and the seventh, Barnhill retired the Rebels five-straight innings in a row. The zero walks issued by Barnhill in a complete-game was the first since Delanie Gourley's performance against Fordham (2/24) earlier this season.

The Gators and the Rebels will square off tomorrow for the annual Yellow Game at 4 p.m. The Gators uniform will be accented with parts of yellow to help bring awareness for pediatric cancer.

Coaches Corner On tomorrow's annual yellow game in memory of Heather Braswell and bringing awareness to pediatric cancer... "The big thing about the yellow game is just being able to bring awareness to pediatric cancer and honoring the memory of Heather Braswell - and not just her but all of the people that Heather fought for too." - Tim Walton

From the Players On how important it is to get ahead early...

"The pitchers are really good table setters. They've been doing that all season. Kelly, Delanie, Lele (Aleshia Ocasio) and Katie Chorister, they just all really set the tone for us from the first inning to the last inning, and we know that we can count on them in any situation. So that just really gives our hitters confidence when we go up to the plate knowing that on defense they have our backs." - Kayli Kvistad

On this week's attention and not letting anything go to your head... "You just always have to stay humble. There's always room for improvement, and it's a team sport so you can't do anything without your team out here." - Kelly Barnhill

Notables

• Amanda Lorenz produced her team leading 16th multi-hit game of the season.

o Last season Lorenz ended the season with 22 multi-hit games.

• Nicole DeWitt extended her hit streak to seven games with her 1-for-2 performance.

• Kelly Barnhill recorded her 10th game of the season of 10-plus strikeouts.

o It was also her third-straight game of 15 or more strikeouts.

o The 16 strikeouts for Ole Miss was a season-high for the Rebels.

 It's the fourth SEC team and fifth time this season Barnhill has dealt a season-high in strikeouts to an opponent.

• Auburn (16), Georgia (14), Kentucky (15), Kentucky (15) & Ole Miss (16)

• Barnhill also extended her scoreless inning streak to 38.1 innings.

o Earlier this season Barnhill posted a scoreless inning streak of 45.2 innings.

• The Gators now have 27 shutouts on the season, which leads the nation.

o It's the 12th shut out over a Top 25 opponent. o Barnhill recorded her 10th shutout of the season.

• Florida improved to 18-2 on the season versus Top 25 competition.