Florida rallies past Alabama, into SEC tourney semifinals

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Florida senior Amanda Lorenz. [Cyndi Chambers/ Correspondent/File]

Special to Gatorsports.com

COLUMUBA, Missouri — Well, who else did you expect?

SEC Player of the Year Amanda Lorenz belted a three-run home run after two were out in the sixth inning Thursday to lift No. 4 Florida to a 5-2 win over No. 15 Alabama and into the SEC softball tournament semifinals.

“All that matters is winning,” Lorenz said of her ninth home run of the season and fourth in 11 games. “I’m just excited that we got the dub (W). I just stayed within myself, found a pitch to hit, had trust in myself and hit something hard.”

The Gators (48-8) will play four seed Tennessee (45-11) at 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU) Friday for the right to advance to Saturday night’s championship game. The Vols eliminated LSU 1-0 earlier Thursday in one of the other quarterfinals. Arkansas (39-14) plays South Carolina (44-13) at 3 p.m. Friday in the other semifinal.

Alabama (34-18) scored two runs in the top of the first inning off UF ace Kelly Barnhill, the SEC Pitcher of the Year, on a single by Elissa Brown, a wild pitch, walk, passed ball, RBI groundout and sacrifice fly.

Florida, the league’s regular-season champion, had opportunities to score in the first two innings, but eight seed Alabama escaped damage by turning two double plays.

The Crimson Tide kept their lead in the third inning when Lorenz was called out at homeĀ  even though TV replays showed she touched the plate before the tag by the Alabama catcher.

The Gators tied it at 2-all on Aleshia Ocasio’s two-run home run in the fourth inning.

Ocasio (19-6) relieved Barnhill in the sixth inning after a leadoff walk. She kept the Tide off the scoreboard in her two-inning stint. Barnhill went five innings, allowed three hits, two runs (one earned), walked five and struck out five.

UF took its first lead of the game in the sixth. Ocasio walked and moved to second when Sophia Reynoso dropped a sacrifice bunt that turned into a single when she beat the throw to first. After the next two batters made outs, Lorenz smashed an Alexis Osorio offering way over the centerfield fence.

Osorio (13-10) had relieved starter Courtney Gettins in the fourth inning.

 

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. “Osorio (13-10) had relieved starter Courtney Gettins in the fourth inning”. I bet Alabama was hating that after lorenz’s homer! Go gators!

  2. Good game, Gators (love beating the ”Crimson Elephants”). Now work those Lady Vols silly!
    1st game between these 2 teams all season, make it special Gators (only 1 more to the Tourney Championship game). ”Championship Bling” never gets boring, and y’all will love it even more when you’re older (like many of us). GO GATORS!

  3. Great comeback win!
    On a side note, are we just going to eventually ditch the school colors? Football green, basketball orange and black, now softball gray and white. I don’t get it.

    • I’m with you, our colors are blue and orange. the colors they wore last night were just plain ugly. But the game was a terrific come from behind win.

  4. The home plate ump last night did a great impression of Ray Charles. Gee whiz, after the game did a van pick him up with a blanket and a bowl of soup after the game? Nonetheless, this team is clutch and hopefully gets on a roll for yet another NC! Go Gators

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