LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 3 Florida Gators struck for four runs, which turned out to be enough in a tightly-contested 4-0 game on Friday night in the series opener between UF and the No. 21 Kentucky Wildcats.
Florida’s Kelly Barnhill moved to 17-0 on the season with the result and the Gators improved to 39-2 overall and a Southeastern Conference leading record of 14-1. Erin Rethlake, who pitched well for the Wildcats and kept Kentucky in the game, got her first loss of the season to fall to 6-1.
Game two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET with Dave Baker and Carol Bruggeman on the call from Lexington. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Tickets are in low supply, as the game is very close to a sellout. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and park in the Commonwealth Stadium Blue Lot and take shuttles to the front gates of John Cropp Stadium.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 25-12 on the season and 5-8 in league play.
- Florida’s Kelly Barnhill stuck out 15 Kentucky batters in the game, while only allowing two hits. The 15 strikeouts for Barnhill were the highest amounts all season for an opposing pitcher.
Kentucky was in the game all night until a series of back-to-back wild pitches plated two UF runs in the top of the seventh to make it a 4-0 game.
Erin Rethlake was the key player in the game, going six innings, allowing just three hits and striking out three.
Florida scored in the top of the first as lead-off batter Amanda Lorenz, who led off the inning with a walk, came around to score on an RBI single with two outs from Janell Wheaton. UF 1, UK 0
The Gators added a second run in the third inning on an RBI single from Wheaton, as Nicole DeWitt scored – who led off the inning with a HBP. UF 2, UK 0
The Gators would score two more times as both Rethlake and Larissa Spellman had wild pitches with two outs that scored runs from third. FINAL – No. 3 Florida 4, No. 21 Kentucky 0