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Friday, March 31, 2023
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-867dac28-7fff-0cb1-62ff-9c519bb21a1f"><span id="docs-internal-guid-867dac28-7fff-0cb1-62ff-9c519bb21a1f">Shortstop Sophia Reynoso (pictured) hit a three-run homer in top of the fifth inning in the Gators' 15-0 season-opening win Saturday against Illinois State</span></span></p>

Shortstop Sophia Reynoso (pictured) hit a three-run homer in top of the fifth inning in the Gators' 15-0 season-opening win Saturday against Illinois State

It was the bottom of the sixth, and neither Florida nor South Florida had scored. The scoreboard at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium showed nothing but zeroes.

But pinch-hitter Cheyenne Lindsey led off the inning with the Gators’ first hit of the game, and three batters later, UF had the bases loaded.

Shortstop Sophia Reynoso swatted USF pitcher Georgina Corrick’s 1-1 offering deep to center field. Center fielder AnaMarie Bruni backpedaled and made the catch, but that allowed Lindsey to score to put the Gators on top 1-0.

“I just decided my plan was to choose her curveball that she’d been throwing,” Reynoso said. “(I) decided to just pick one side of the plate, and that was the best to me.”

UF pitcher Kelly Barnhill retired the Bulls in order in the top of the seventh to seal a 1-0 win over USF (29-15) on Wednesday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The win gives the Gators four straight victories and a confidence boost heading into a road conference series with Texas A&M.

Barnhill struck out 11 on the night, and USF first baseman Bethaney Keen’s double in the top of the fourth inning was the Bulls’ only hit.

Corrick had a similar performance, holding the No. 6 Gators to one hit, four walks and one earned run while striking out four in six innings.

“That’s the kind of games you love pitching, too, you know,” Barnhill said. “You’re just battling up there.”

Barnhill didn’t see Reynoso’s sacrifice fly to put the Gators ahead. The pitcher went to put ice in her water bottle, and while she was gone, the team had put runners on base.

“One person got on, then another person got on and it was ‘Well, Kelly, you’re staying out here,’” Barnhill said with a laugh. “When a rally is happening, you’ve got to stay in your spots.”

Reynoso had the chance to win the game in the first place because of coach Tim Walton’s recent change to put her in the cleanup spot.

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“I can go home sleeping tonight, if we lost, knowing that Sophia Reynoso’s going to give us her best … she won the ballgame tonight for us,” Walton said.

Follow Brendan Farrell on Twitter @Bfarrell727 and contact him at 

Shortstop Sophia Reynoso's sac-fly in the bottom of the sixth inning scored Cheyenne Lindsey and secured the Gators' 1-0 win over USF on Wednesday.

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