TAMPA, Fla. - No. 5 Florida dispatched No. 14 Michigan and No. 6 Arizona Saturday afternoon to stay undefeated at the USF Opening Weekend Invitational.
Senior hurler Kelly Barnhill (2-0) picked up the complete-game victory over the Wolverines (1-2) and secured her fourth career save, first of the season, when she stifled the Wildcats (2-1) rally in the final inning of game two.
The Gators (3-0) scored in a variety ways throughout the day, which gave plenty of support for Barnhill, sophomore Natalie Lugo (1-0) and freshman Danni Farley in the circle. Lugo entered with one out in the third inning of the Arizona game and provided 3.2 innings of quality work to pick up her first victory of the year.
Offensively, the wealth was spread pretty evenly across the lineup with senior Amanda Lorenz and Kendyl Lindaman leading the way going 3-for-7 at the plate. However, a pair of home runs from junior Jordan Roberts and sophomore Danielle Romanello proved to be the difference in the win against Arizona.
How It Happened - No. 14 Michigan
- 2nd inning: Hannah Sipos notched her first career RBI with a shallow single to center field that scored pinch runner Jade Caraway.
- 3rd inning: Lindaman drove in Lorenz with a triple under the diving outstretched glove of Michigan right fielder
- 7th inning: Jaimie Hoover doubled to center field which scored Lorenz and Sampson. She then advanced to third on the throw home.
- 7th inning: Hoover raced home and scored after Roberts ripped a ground ball to third. Roberts reached base thanks to a throwing error.
- 7th inning: Hannah Sipos concluded the scoring with a SAC fly to center field that scored pinch runner Amanda Beane.
How It Happened - No. 6 Arizona
- 1st inning: Romanello cranked her first home run of the year after she lifted a 1-2 pitch over the right field wall. Lindaman scored on the play after reaching via a fielder's choice.
- 2nd inning: The Wildcats closed down the Florida lead in the next frame with a leadoff solo home run by Dejah Mulipola.
- 2nd inning: Roberts extended the Gators lead back out to two runs when she smacked a solo home run to right center field.
- 6th inning: Malia Martinez attempted to rally the Wildcats offense with a solo home run to left field.
Florida head coach Tim Walton improved to 12-2 overall against Michigan's Carol Hutchins and 5-0 against Arizona's Mike Candrea after today's sweep. Walton improved to 848-213 as a head coach and currently leads all active NCAA DI coaches with a .799 win percentage.
Hutchins (1,572-506-1) and Candrea (1,565-405-2) are both legends in the sport and have combined for over 3,137 victories with win percentages of (.756) and (.793) respectively.
The program improved to 308-233 against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and 265-144 against teams in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. This is the sixth consecutive season that UF has opened its year at a tournament held by USF; over that span the Gators hold a 26-0 record.
The Gators return to action Sunday to take on N.C. State at 1:30 p.m. and host USF at 4:15 p.m.