Florida Softball Takes Down Kentucky in Series Opener

On Friday night, the third ranked Florida softball team (39-2, 14-1 SEC) took on 21st ranked Kentucky (25-12, 5-8 SEC) in the first contest of a three game series. The Gators continued their success on the road with a 4-0 win.

How Florida Scored

The Gators only had three hits in the game, but they capitalized on costly Kentucky errors. Like many games this season, Florida scored in their first opportunity. Amanda Lorenz led off with a walk and the bases were soon loaded as Kayli Kvistad drew a walk and Jaimie Hoover was hit by a pitch. Janell Wheaton drove in the first run with a single to right field.

In the third inning, Nicole DeWitt was hit by a pitch.  She worked her way around the bases after a sacrifice got her to second and a passed ball advanced her to third. Wheaton would step up again with her second RBI of the game, pushing the ball, for another single hit, to the right side of the field.

Kentucky kept it a close game through the sixth inning, but faltered when they allowed two more runs in the top of the seventh. Despite not recording any hits in the inning, Florida got on base with two walks and an infield error. Katie Chronister, who was pinch running for Wheaton, and Aleshia Ocasio both scored on separate wild pitches.

The Florida batters showed great patience at the plate as they drew a total of eight walks and got hit by pitches twice. Lorenz drew three walks in the game herself. The most successful hitter for Florida was Wheaton, going two for three with two RBI.

Dominant Pitching

Sophomore Kelly Barnhill continued her hot streak in the circle for Florida. She had 15 strikeouts in the contest and only allowed two hits and one walk; her earned run average now stands at 0.20, by far the lowest in the country.

The series continues Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. The game can be viewed on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN. The final game of the series will be Sunday at 1 p.m.

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