Amanda Lorenz is an admitted softball geek. If you put a game on TV, she’s going to watch it.
So she remembers well the first time she saw current teammate Kendyl Lindaman.
“I’ll never forget it,” said the Florida senior softball star. “Minnesota was playing Alabama two years ago in the regional and we were watching at our house and the (graphic) camae on that she had 20 homers and 60-something RBIs and I just blurted out — ‘20 homers and 60 RBIs??’ And ever since my roomates have given me a hard time about that.”
That was back when Lindaman was a freshman at Minnesota and the Big Ten Player of the Year. The following year she did the same thing. In those two seasons, she belted 40 homers.
But there was something missing.
“There was something I wanted to get,” Lindaman said. “A whole different level.”
Last fall, during the first softball practice of the fall for Minnesota, Lindaman tore a meniscus. For someone who had caught all 119 games for her team the previous two years, it was a tough sit as she began the rehabilitation process.
“I could kind of sit back and watch and reflect,” she said.
And she decided to put her name in the famous “transfer portal.” Needless to say, a lot of ears perked up at the most elite of college programs in the country.
Coach Tim Walton certainly noticed and started the recruiting process. First, he had to find out about Lindaman’s reasons for considering Florida.
“You have to figure out what they want if it matches what we want,” Walton said. “If it does, maybe there’s a connection. If she wants something we don’t want, she probably goes somewhere else.”
But Florida and Lindaman were a match. Lorenz was her host on the recruiting visit.
“I told her she was the root of so many things my roommates make fun of me for,” Lorenz said.
Lindaman had to finish her rehab before she could start practice and, because of the injury, has split the catching duties with fellow junior Jordan Roberts.
“She had to come in and be thrown into the fire and basically have her fall practice at the start of the year,” Walton said. “I don’t think she’s 100 percent yet.”
The power hasn’t been there yet this season. Lindaman has only a pair of homers, but she is second on the team behind Lorenz with a .373 batting average.
“I can’t blame it on that,” she said of the lack of power. “I’m just happy to be on such a great team.”
Lindaman gets her first taste of SEC action today when No. 4 Florida (21-2) opens conference play at 6 p.m. against No. 7 Tennessee (16-2) at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The two teams play again Saturday and Sunday.
“It’ll be an interesting matchup,” Walton said. “Tennessee is always good.”
Who: No. 7 Tennessee (16-2) vs. No. 4 Florida (21-2)
When: 6 p.m. today, 1 p.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. Sunday
Where: Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
Radio: 92.1-FM/1230-AM & 100.1-FM/900-AM
TV: SEC Network on Sunday
Online: SEC Network+ today and Saturday