#2 Florida Softball 2018 Preview

Florida Gators
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 SEC
 Florida Logo
Florida heads into the 2018 season right on the tail of Oklahoma in a battle for supremacy as the best team in all of college softball. The Gators and Sooners battled for 17 innings in game one of the Women’s College World Series Championship finals, with Oklahoma winning 7-5. The Sooners then secured the sweep knocking off Florida 5-4 in game two to deny the Gators another championship. A very experienced team returns for head coach Tim Walton as Florida should be a heavy favorite to win the SEC and be a top two or three national seed in the NCAA Tournament
2017: 58-10, 20-3
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim Walton
Key Departed Players:
Justine McLean, OF, .301 BA, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 18 SB
Chelsea Herndon, OF, .256 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI
Delanie Gourley, P, 0.71 ERA, 22-4 W-L, 176.1 IP, 30 BB, 254 SO
Key Returning Players:
Amanda Lorenz, OF, .388 BA, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 11 SB
Kayli Kvistad, IF, .368 BA, 9 HR, 53 RBI
Nicole Dewitt, IF, .316 BA, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 8 SB
Aleshia Ocasio, UTIL, .308 BA, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 11 SB, 1.51 ERA, 8-2 W-L, 69.1 IP, 8 BB, 55 SO
Sophia Reynoso, IF, .299 BA, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 13 SB
Janell Wheaton, C/IF, .263 BA, 4 HR, 36 RBI
Jordan Roberts, C, .260 BA, 8 HR, 39 RBI
Kelly Barnhill, P, 0.51 ERA, 26-4 W-L, 193.2 IP, 40 BB, 359 SO
Katie Chronister, P, 2.21 ERA, 2-0 W-L, 19.0 IP, 8 BB, 15 SO
Kelly Barnhill is going to set the tone in the circle for the Gators as Barnhill is without question the top pitcher in all of women’s college baseball when she is on her game. Barnhill struck out 359 batters in 193.2 innings and, more importantly, only walked 40 batters. It’s that elite level command of her pitches that separates her from everyone else in the sport. With the graduation of Delanie Gourley, Katie Chronister and Aleshia Ocasio will have a role in picking up the slack as far as the number two starter goes. Offensively, expect the Gators to be dynamic as Amanda Lorenz hit .388 with 11 homeruns, 46 runs batted in and eleven stolen bases. Kayli Kvistad, Nicole Dewitt, and Jordan Roberts will provide plenty of additional power at the plate and will create all sorts of nightmares for opposing pitchers. The schedule is very favorable as a trip to Alabama is the most challenging road trip in SEC play. Texas A&M, Kentucky, and LSU all come to Gainesville for weekend series during SEC play. Last year, Florida was 28-3 at home and with most of their tough series taking place at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, the Gators should cruise to the SEC Conference title. In the end, it should be business as usual in Gainesville with Florida threatening the 55-60 win range and be in position to get a rematch with Oklahoma in the WCWS Championship series.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#13 Kayli Kvistad
#16 Aleshia Ocasio