College softball: No. 1 Florida blanks No. 2 Michigan in WCWS rematch
TAMPA, Fla. – Behind three singles, three runs scored and one RBI from freshman Amanda Lorenz, No. 1 Florida blanked No. 2 Michigan, 8-0 (5 innings), on the second day of its season at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament. This was the first time in the 18-game history of the UF-UM series that the Gators run-ruled the Wolverines.
With the win, Florida continued a unique trend that has been going on since 2009. Every NCAA Champion since that time has won its first rematch with its Women's College World Series Championship Series opponent since Washington, who beat the Gators in the 2009, but then fell to UF in its first meeting since a few years later.
MORE: Full box score
Florida jumped on Michigan early with three runs in the first inning on two hits.
During the frame, senior Kelsey Stewart was hit by a pitch, then moved to second on a Kirsti Merritt single to left. Lorenz followed with her first collegiate hit, a single up the middle, which scored Stewart. Senior Taylore Fuller then reached on an error to load the bases.
Sophomores Nicole DeWitt and Kayli Kvistad then notched their first of two RBI on the day, as DeWitt walked and Kvistad grounded out to second, which scored Merritt and Lorenz.
In the third, Lorenz and Fuller led off with back-to-back singles and each of them later scored on Kvistad and Aubree Munro singles. With two out, the sophomore and senior were driven home by Justine McLean, giving UF a 7-0 advantage.
Florida added a run in the fourth on a Nicole DeWitt RBI single to give it its mercy-rule lead of 8-0.
Rookie Kelly Barnhill started in the circle and tossed five shutout innings, while recording two strikeouts and not walking a batter. In her collegiate debut, Barnhill surrendered just three hits and allowed just one UM runner to get into scoring position.
NEWS & NOTES
- UF's eight runs marked the second-highest total it's ever scored on UM.
- For the third consecutive year, a freshman pitcher beat Michigan in Tampa in her first Gator start; Ocasio got the win against the Wolverines in 2015 after Gourley turned the trick in 2014.
- All nine of UF's hits in the game were singles.
- With today's win, UM and UF are now tied in its series history at nine wins apiece.
- Florida is now 9-2 against Michigan under Tim Walton.