No. 4 UF softball team posts 3-2 win over No. 15 Alabama

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The Florida Gators meet Danielle Romanello (15) at home plate after Romanello hit a home run in the final game of the series against Alabama at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Monday. Florida won the game 3-2 to win the series. [Staff Photo/Erin Nelson]

Special to Gatorsports.com

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 4 Florida managed only two hits Monday against No. 15 Alabama and freshman pinch-hitter Danielle Romanello made the most out of them in the Gators’ 3-2 win.

Freshman Kaylee Tow gave Alabama (25-11, 6-6 SEC) a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a two-run home run.

Not to be outdone, Romanello drilled a two-run double in the top of the fourth inning following three walks to tie the game at 2-all.

“She has really done a great job all year long,” said Tim Walton, now 700-143 in 13 seasons as the head coach of the Gators. “To be able to come off the bench and get a pinch hit in any situation is so tough and for her to do it regularly is just really impressive. For her to do it tonight, being down two – I was extremely happy for a kid who works really hard.”

Romanello, a St. Petersburg native who stayed in the game as the designated player, then put the Gators (34-6, 9-3) ahead 3-2 with her first home run in the sixth.

“Coach (Tim) Walton believes in me and I know when it’s my time to relax and be aggressive,” Romanello said of her plate approach against Tide standout pitcher Alexis Osorio (9-5).

Gators ace Kelly Barnhill struggled a bit, giving up four hits, the two earned runs, walked five and struck out four but was helped by strong fielding behind her to improve to 17-1.

Florida won the SEC series 2-1 to move back into first place in the SEC standings.

Over his 16 seasons as a head coach, Walton has a .799 career winning percentage, the highest mark among active NCAA Division I coaches.

“It obviously is a lot of wins in a Gator uniform, so I am very proud of not only this team, but all of our coaches and all of our former players,” Walton said. “I am proud of the way we compete and the condition of this program. The legacy that we have built shows that it truly is great to be a Florida Gator.”

Florida’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday at Florida State with a 7 p.m. start on ESPN2.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I’m proud of the class this team shows in such a hostile environment. Watching Alabama fans on television was a bit entertaining, especially the facial expressions and comments thrown at the home plate official. Our girls never lost their Gator spirit and showed why It’s Great to be a Florida Gator! Congrats to all and especially Coach for his 700th win. Great place for it to happen.

  2. Great come from behind win, on the road, against another great team. The lady Gators showed grit and determination and would not give up. That is the winning attitude that will take them back to the CWS and help them bring home another NC. Good luck, and make us proud.

  3. What a game for Danielle Romanello. For a Freshman to come in to pinch hit with 2 outs and the bases loaded against a top team, and their all American pitcher and rip a pinch hit double and score 2 runs to tie the game like that was amazing. To follow that up her next time up with a solo shot over the fence in right for the go ahead run was even more impressive. She has a sweet stroke and a great eye. Coach has to find a way to get her more AB. Good luck and keep it going.

  4. Like they say, a win is a win is a win. I hate to be a spoil-sport, but we need to do better. We were lucky to get that win, Osorio the Tide pitcher is not much of a pitcher, she gave us 13 walks and the regular team didn’t do anything to capitalize on those walks. It took a rookie to come off the bench to win the game. We got 2 hits, she got 2 hits, we got 3 runs, she got 3 runs. Osorio got eight strike outs using the same pitch, the same outside of the plate pitch that the umpire kept calling strikes. she pitched 2 games and in both games she kept striking us out with same pitch because we didn’t make the necessary adjustments. Good defense and DANIELLE kept the Tide at bay!!!.

  5. Great win in a tough environment. Barnhill was off tonight with location but she really needs some o get something off speed. Opponents don’t fear anything off speed and lay back on the heater. Bama fans looked real classy on TV.

  6. Total WAR!!! What a series. I have to agree with Alfred Rose about the hitting. We had several innings with the bases loaded with no outs and we didn’t score a run. As a team we have not been hitting the ball. Too many strikes out. Need to practice hitting the ball where it pitched to all sides of the park. Big games coming up, looking forward to them. GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!