TEMPE, Ariz. - No. 4 Florida closed out the Littlewood Classic hosted by Arizona State with a dominant 8-0 victory over Central Michigan Sunday morning at Farrington Stadium.
The Gators (11-0) bookended the scoring with a pair of home runs against the Chippewas (4-6). Jordan Roberts (2-for-3) put the first UF run on the board, while Jordan Matthews (2-for-3) crushed a two-run home run in the fourth to close the scoring.
Senior hurler Kelly Barnhill (6-0) picked up her sixth win of the season in the effort as she pitched 4.0 innings and struck out eight of the 14 batters faced. The Marietta, Ga. native limited the CMU offense to just one hit and a walk.
Natalie Lugo came in relief in the fifth and picked up three strikeouts while only allowing one hit on just 14 pitches.
How It Happened -Central Michigan - W, 8-0 (5 Innings)
Bottom 2nd 1-0 Roberts broke the scoring open for the Gators with a solo home run over the wall in left center.
Bottom 2nd 2-0 After back-to-back walks and a SAC bunt, Sophia Reynoso cranked a SAC fly deep to center that scored Danielle Romanello from third.
Bottom 3rd 3-0 Roberts struck again in the third with a single down the left field line that scored Matthews.
Bottom 3rd 4-0 Romanello followed up with an RBI single up the middle that scored Kendyl Lindaman from second.
Bottom 3rd 5-0 The Gators tacked on another run after the Central Michigan second baseman booted Hannah Adams' grounder into right field which allowed Roberts to score.
Bottom 4th 6-0 Amanda Beane stole second base but another pair of CMU miscues by the center fielder allowed Beane to race to third and then home for another UF run.
Bottom 4th 8-0 Matthews put the finishing touches on the Gators scoring with a two-run home run way over the wall in center field that scored Roberts.
Eight different Florida batters have recorded at least one home run so far this season and five Gators have hit multiple home runs. Overall UF is slugging .543 through 11 games with a total of 25 extra base hits.
- Florida improved to 4-0 against Central Michigan after today's win.
- Also, the Gators improved their all-time records against Illinois State (12-2), San Diego (2-0) and Arizona State (4-5). This weekend was the first meeting between UF and Utah State.
- The Gators have eight batters with averages of .300 or better with Amanda Lorenz leading the way at a .469 clip. Not far behind Lorenz is junior Jordan Roberts who's batting .423 on the year.
- In the circle, three UF pitchers have a 1.00 ERA or lower so far this year. Barnhill is pacing the staff with a 0.88 ERA, while Lugo sports a 0.97 ERA and freshman Elizabeth Hightower has an even 1.00 ERA.
- All three also have a .104 opposing batting average or lower.
The Gators take to the road for a midweek contest against Jacksonville (Fla.) Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. The team will then return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to host the Bubly Invitational Feb. 22-24.