UF Roundup: Barnhill named SEC Pitcher of Week

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Florida's Kelly Barnhill (11) pitches during the Florida-Alabama softball game on Saturday, at Rhodes Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on The University of Alabama campus. The Gators won, 6-1, in the first of a three-game series. [Photo/Laura Chramer]

 

Special to Gatorsports.com

Florida’s Kelly Barnhill was tabbed as this week’s Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after a pair of dominant performances against South Carolina. She has now earned the award nine times over her career and for the fourth time this season.

Barnhill (19-1) picked up two complete-game victories over the Gamecocks and limited their offense to just a pair of hits, one run and a .045 batting average. The junior right-hander picked up her ninth shutout of the season, 28th of her career, in the series finale to move into fifth place all-time in Florida history. She surpassed Chelsey Sakizzie (1997-’98) and is one shy of tying Delanie Gourley (2014-’17) for fourth all-time.

The No. 5 Gators (37-7) host Florida A&M at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at 6 p.m. today. Amanda Lorenz has reached base safely in all 44 games this season and she has reached base safely in all but seven games over her career.

WOMEN’S GOLF: Gators start SEC tourney

The Gators return to Birmingham, Ala., as the reigning SEC Tournament champions.

Florida won the championship last year with a three-day total of 22-under 842 at Greystone Golf & Country Club Legacy Course. The Gators entered the final day tied with a five-stroke lead and fired a final round 10-under 278 to claim their first SEC title since 2008. Florida also set a record for the lowest three-day SEC Championship total.

Returning from last year’s lineup are sophomore Marta Perez and senior Taylor Tomlinson. Perez will be playing out of the No. 2 position while Tomlinson is slotted in the No. 4 spot. Last year, Tomlinson fired a 212 (-4) three-round score which tied her for seventh on the leaderboard.

This year, the conference tournament moves to a new format. The first three days will consist of three rounds of stroke play. The top eight teams after stroke play will advance to match play which starts on Saturday morning.

“It is a special tournament and our conference is once again stacked with elite teams,” UF coach Emily Bastel Glaser said.

Women’s tennis: Florida earned the No. 2 seed for the SEC Tournament that gets underway at Barksdale Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee on Wednesday.

The Gators (16-7, 11-2 SEC) finished tied for second with South Carolina in the final regular-season standings and defeated the Gamecocks to take the No. 2 seed. SEC regular-season champion Vanderbilt is the top seed.

Florida’s first match will be Friday at 9 a.m. against the winner of the second-round bout between No. 7 seed Mississippi State (15-9, 6-7 SEC) and No. 10 seed LSU (14-9, 5-8 SEC).

This season, the Gators defeated Mississippi State in a misleading 4-0 decision on March 3 in Starkville and topped LSU, 4-0, on March 9 in Gainesville.

Men’s tennis: Florida earned the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament and will play the winner of No. 6 Vanderbilt and No. 11 LSU at 1 p.m. (ET) in the quarterfinals on Friday, April 27. This year’s SEC Tournament will be held in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and run April 25-April 29.

The Gators (15-8) finished the SEC regular season in third with a conference record of 8-3 behind top seed Texas A&M and second seed Mississippi State.

The Gators own wins against both potential opponents. Florida defeated Vanderbilt 4-3 in Nashville and beat LSU 7-0 in Baton Rouge.

This will be the second consecutive season that Florida enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed.

Men’s golf: At Nashville, Tenn., the Gators finished the Mason Rudolph Championship with three players inside of the top 15 on the leaderboard and in fourth place as a team. Florida shot the third best round of the day Sunday. The Gators flirted with a top-three finish for most of the day but, a few bogies on the last few holes placed them a couple of shot back of Liberty. Vanderbilt won the tourney with a 853 (+1).

For the second time this season, Andy Zhang finished in the top 10. The sophomore carded a final round 73 (+2), as he took sixth in Nashville.

Gordon Neale continued his consistency atop the lineup by placing inside of the top 15 for the fifth straight tournament. Like Zhang, Neale was 2-over on Sunday which helped him tie for 12th at the tournament with a weekend total of 218 (+5).

Freshman John Axelsen was one stroke back of Neale tying for 15th at 6-over par. This was the second highest finish for the Denmark native this season who had a season best third place finish at the Tavistock. Axelsen along with Alejandro Tosti carded team-low scores of 71 (E) in the final round. Tosti’s round helped him jump up 17 spots on the leaderboard to finish tied for 29th.

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