The wind blew in Jordan Roberts’ face as she stepped into the batter’s box during the top of the third inning.
Runners on base and designated player Kendyl Lindaman at the plate in a tight game.
The UF catcher watched the two hitters before her, left fielder Amanda Lorenz and designated player Kendyl Lindaman, knock back-to-back RBIs off Texas A&M pitcher Kendall Potts.
Roberts worked Potts to a 2-2 count then powered a belly-button high offering to left field. The ball traveled against the wind but soared over the wall at Davis Diamond, and the two-run home run gave Florida a 4-0 advantage.
The No. 6 Gators defeated SEC foe Texas A&M 4-1 in College Station, Texas, on Sunday behind a four-run third inning punctuated by Roberts’ homer. UF (36-9, 9-6 SEC) swept the Aggies (25-18, 3-12 SEC) to win its seventh-straight game, six of which have come against conference opponents.
Florida pitcher Kelly Barnhill was key to the victory as well. She took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out seven. Barnhill allowed a walk in the first and second innings but then kept the bases clear until the final frame.
TAMU center fielder Kelbi Fortenberry launched a double over the head of Alex Voss in center field to lead off the seventh and break up the no-hitter. Fortenberry scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice where shortstop Sophia Reynoso turned a double play.
UF out-hit TAMU 8-3 and got half of those hits in the third.
Third baseman Hannah Sipos went 2 for 3 on Sunday and started the rally with one out. She chipped an 0-2 pitch over the head of first baseman Payton McBride and scampered to second for a bloop double.
Sipos touched home two batters later when Lorenz lasered a double off the right-center wall.
Designated player Kendyl Lindaman pulled a pitch down the left-field line to bring Lorenz home on the next at-bat to make it 2-0. It was her 49th RBI of the season, a team high.
Then, Roberts doubled the lead with her home run, her seventh of the season.
Florida threatened offensively in the fifth and sixth innings but couldn’t add to its lead.
Back-to-back one-out singles by center fielder Jade Caraway and Lorenz gave the Gators runners on first and second. Roberts drew a two-out walk to load the bases, but first baseman Jordan Matthews popped out to end the frame.
Reynoso led off the sixth with a walk. She stood on first until Sipos dropped a 3-2 pitch into shallow left-center field with two outs. Reynoso made it to third, and Sipos advanced to second on the throw from Fortenberry in center.
Outfielder Danielle Romanello pinch-hit for Caraway on the next at-bat but grounded out to third base to extinguish the threat.
Florida passed the bat well in its weekend against the Aggies and scored more runs (20) than any of its previous SEC series. The team hit 8 for 23 with runners in scoring position, accumulated at least eight hits in each contest and hammered four home runs altogether.
Follow Mark Stine on Twitter @mstinejr and contact him at [email protected].