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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
<p>Kelly Barnhill lifted Florida into the SEC Tournament semifinal with a complete game, one-hit shutout of LSU. </p>

Kelly Barnhill lifted Florida into the SEC Tournament semifinal with a complete game, one-hit shutout of LSU. 

The Florida softball team wasted no time on Thursday, scoring three runs combined in the first two innings against LSU.

It was all the offense Kelly Barnhill needed.

UF’s ace pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout in the second round of the SEC Tournament as the sixth-seeded Gators (42-15, 12-12 SEC) defeated the third-seeded Tigers 3-0 in College Station, Texas.

Barnhill improved as the game went on, retiring the last 13 batters she faced. Her only blips came in the first inning, when she issued a walk, and the third inning, when center fielder Aliyah Andrews registered LSU’s lone hit on a bunt.

Barnhill struck out the side in the sixth inning and finished with seven strikeouts total.

The Gators’ offense was relatively quiet, mustering just one hit after the second inning and five in total. Three of those hits belonged to Amanda Lorenz, who raised her season average to .426.

Lorenz led off the game with Florida’s only extra base hit of the day, a double to right. Catcher Jordan Roberts singled her home to give UF (42-15, 12-12 SEC) a 1-0 lead.

Florida took advantage of a couple of critical LSU (40-16, 14-10 SEC) errors in the top of the second. Third baseman Amanda Sanchez dropped a throw that would’ve resulted in a force-out, loading the bases for the Gators with one out. Lorenz followed with an RBI infield single.

Sanchez’s woes continued when the next batter, designated player Kendyl Lindaman, hit a ground ball to her. Sanchez fielded it and stepped on third for the out, but blew the chance at a double play and allowed UF to score its third run with a throw past the first baseman and into right field.

The game ended on an excellent defensive play by Florida left fielder Jade Caraway. Amanda Doyle gave Barnhill’s two-strike offering a ride, but Caraway reached over the outfield wall in foul territory to make the catch and send the Gators to the semifinal, where they will meet either Auburn or Tennessee at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Follow Sam Campisano on Twitter @samcampisano. Contact him at scampisano@alligator.org.

Kelly Barnhill lifted Florida into the SEC Tournament semifinal with a complete game, one-hit shutout of LSU. 

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