By Curt Weiler, Tallahassee Democrat
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida State softball team entered Wednesday night’s game looking to snap its recent skid and complete its first season sweep of the Florida Gators since 2006.
Instead, UF turned the tables in a complete reversal of fortunes from the Seminoles’ 2-0 win in Gainesville on April 3. The No. 6 Gators (37-9) dominated the No. 4 Seminoles (38-8) in all phases for a 4-0 win in front of an announced crowd of 1,818 fans at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Seminoles were almost entirely stifled all evening by UF pitcher Kelly Barnhill (25-6), who struck out nine and walked three in the two-hitter. FSU didn’t have a runner reach third all game.
The loss is FSU’s fifth in the last seven games after the Seminoles lost just three of their first 39 games.
After a scoreless deadlock through three innings, the Gators broke through for three runs in the fourth inning, adding one more in the seventh in winning their eighth consecutive game.
Florida chased FSU starter Makinzy Herzog (6-2) in its big fourth inning. Before collecting an out, Herzog issued a walk and a single to set the table for an RBI double off the bat of Jordan Matthews to give the Gators a 1-0 lead. Herzog issued a walk to Jaimie Hoover to load the bases and Hannah Adams made her pay with a two-run double over the head of Dani Morgan in center field to score two more Gators to make it a 3-0 lead for Florida.
After issuing another bases-loaded walk to Hannah Sipos, Herzog was replaced with Kathryn Sandercock who induced a non-traditional 6-2-5 double play on a dropped pop up to end the Gators inning.
In the seventh, Amanda Lorenz hit a triple and scored on Jordan Roberts’ single.
The Gators return home for a three-game series vs. Alabama, beginning with a twinbill starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Notes: Seniors Kelly Barnhill and Amanda Lorenz became the first Florida softball players in program history to be drafted first and second overall in the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft. Barnhill was the top overall pick by the Chicago Bandits, while Lorenz was drafted by the USSSA Pride as the second overall pick.
Who: Alabama vs. Florida
When: 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
TV: First game on ESPN2
Online: Second game on SEC Network+