The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
NCAA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - GAINESVILLE REGIONAL

Barnhill's one-hitter propels Florida to shutout

2080 days ago
Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Kelly Barnhill hurled her fourth one-hitter of the season in a complete-game performance that advanced Florida past Oklahoma State 2-0. Aleshia Ocasio was the anchor for the offense as she turned in a 2-for-3 performance at the plate and was responsible for driving home the deciding pair of runs.

Barnhill (23-1) received her first post-season start of her career and definitely made the most of the opportunity as she notched her fourth one-hitter of the season and fanned 15 Cowgirls (36-24) in the process.

The Gators (52-6) offense found a way to provide Barnhill support as it has for a majority of the season. That support came in the form of Ocasio's two RBI single in the fourth inning. Ocasio ripped a single that scored both Nicole DeWitt and Kayli Kvistad.

With one out in the inning DeWitt drew a walk on a 3-1 count and Kvistad followed up with a single to left field. Freshman Jordan Roberts eventually loaded the bases for Ocasio after the pitch from starting pitcher Brandi Needham (20-10) hit her.

The two runs was all Barnhill needed in the circle to complete the game and move the Gators to the Regional Championship game on Sunday at noon.

The Cowgirls only managed a pair of walks and a single for the entirety of the contest while Barnhill fanned 15 batters on just 97 pitches.

Florida will play the winner of Oklahoma State and FIU at noon (ET) tomorrow for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional round.

Coaches Corner

Opening Statement:

"Thanks to everybody for coming today, enduring the heat. I'm very happy and thankful for our fans, for their claps, motivation and the Orange and Blue [chant] to get us going in the fourth inning. It was obviously a nice two out hit and clutch at-bat (for Ocasio). Overall I'm happy with the way our team came out today. I thought we had the right energy, I thought we had the right preparation against (Needham) who hasn't been giving up much of late. I thought we were able to get things going there (in the fourth), Nicole [DeWitt] got us going with a walk. Overall, I thought we did enough to win. I think in the end we can all sit up here and be critical of how many hits we had or how many runs we scored, but in postseason softball the only thing that matters is the W, and getting the W with the two out hit and the clutch hit was pretty impressive." - Tim Walton