The Florida Gators are the 2019 SEC Softball Tournament Champions!
The 6th-seeded Gators completed their run on Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over the top-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide. The victory gave Florida their second consecutive SEC Tournament Championship and their fifth in program history.
Florida pulled off the championship game victory thanks in large part to two of their best players. Those players being Amanda Lorenz and Kelly Barnhill. Down 1-0 in the 6th inning, Lorenz battled and battled some more until she got a hold of a two-RBI double that gave the Gators a lead they wouldn’t soon relinquish. Lorenz has been one of the best Gator softball players in recent memory, and Saturday night was another shining example of her greatness.
Barnhill might not have been her ace-like self, but the Gator great was still stout in the circle. She pitched a complete game two-hitter with only the one earned run coming off a fielder’s choice in the 4th. Barnhill struck out six batters but did issue six walks as well. Still, she and her teammates battled and Alabama just couldn’t capitalize when they needed to to do damage to her.
The victory for Florida assures them of a spot in the NCAA Softball Tournament. Their resume is pretty dang good as it is, but it’s still crazy that this team, who was 12-12 in conference play, just went on this run to win it all. Then again, this team has plenty of veteran leadership and great players all around, so is it that crazy at all? Perhaps not.
As for ‘Bama, no need to hang their heads. While they certainly came up short in the final tourney game, they’ll likely be hosting in the NCAA Softball Tournament, probably all the way through the Super Regionals, after their stellar year.