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UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey

Gator Softball Ending SEC Play with Weekend Series at Tennessee

The top-ranked Florida Gator softball team (44-3) will wrap up regular season SEC play with a weekend series in Knoxville against the eighth ranked Tennessee Volunteers (41-6).

The Gators have 18 SEC wins, while two of Florida’s losses have come against conference opponents. The Volunteers are 13-4 in SEC games this season.

Prime Pitching

Florida’s biggest strength comes from the circle, and the Gators are leading the nation with 29 shutouts. The fearsome pitching staff is led by sophomore Kelly Barnhill, who is coming off of her third consecutive SEC Pitcher of the Week award. Barnhill now has four SEC Pitcher of the Week awards, which is the most for any UF player in a single season.

Barnhill’s accomplishments are staggering – the righty from Marietta, Georgia is putting together one of the most dominant seasons in history to help Florida remain the winningest NCAA D-1 softball program in the country since 2007.  Barnhill (0.17 ERA), Aleshia Ocasio (0.86 ERA) and Delanie Gourley (0.94 ERA) all rank within the nation’s top 10 in earned run average.

Defensively, the Gators lead the nation with a .986 fielding percentage and UF is 20-2 against Top 25 teams, while holding 20 of those opponents to one run or less.

However, this weekend a Tennessee program, also ranked in the top five programs in the country record-wise since 2007, could give the Gators a run for their money.

 

The weekend series from Knoxville gets started Friday, with first pitch set for 6 PM. Saturday’s first pitch is set for 2 PM and you can tune into SEC Network + for the action.  Sunday’s 1 PM match up is being broadcast on ESPN2.

About Charlie Jordan

I'm a senior studying Political Science at the University of Florida. Multimedia Sports Reporter for ESPN Gainesville 95.3 and WUFT - Passionate about life, sports, and fitness.

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