#7 Florida Softball 2021 Preview

Florida Gators
Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #2 SEC
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The University of Florida heads into a bit of a reloading phase in 2021 as the Gators will have to replace Kelly Barnhill and Amanda Lorenz, who will go down as two of the best players in program history. Florida is coming off an SEC Tournament championship and another trip to the Women’s College World Series after outlasting Tennessee in an epic three game Gainesville Super Regional. With a strong consistent culture in place thanks to head coach Tim Walton and his staff, you can expect Florida to find a way to win 45 plus games and cause some chaos in the SEC conference race.
2019: 49-18, 12-12
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim Walton
Key Departed Players:
Amanda Lorenz, OF, .422 BA, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 4 SB
Alex Voss, OF, .237 BA, 1 HR, 13 RBI
Kelly Barnhill, P, 1.61 ERA, 34-14 W/L, 287.0 IP, 81 BB, 358 SO
Jordan Roberts, C, .262 BA, 9 HR, 36 RBI
Sophia Reynoso, INF, .251 BA, 2 HR, 20 RBI
Hannah Sipos, INF, .167 BA, 1 HR, 13 RBI
Jade Carraway, OF, .219 BA, 0 HR, 10 RBI
Danni Farley, P, 4.06 ERA, 2-0 W/L, 20.2 IP, 10 BB, 13 SO
Key Returning Players:
Kendyl Lindaman, C, .330 BA, 15 HR, 54 RBI
Hannah Adams, INF, .284 BA, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 4 SB
Jaimie Hoover, OF, .243 BA, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 6 SB
Natalie Lugo, P, 2.02 ERA, 8-3 W/L, 76.1 IP, 18 BB, 94 SO
Katie Chronister, P, 2.03 ERA, 1-0 W/L, 10.1 IP, 3 BB, 4 SO
Elizabeth Hightower, P, 2.16 ERA, 4-1 W/L, 61.2 IP, 19 BB, 55 SO
Kendyl Lindaman will have to lead the Gators at the plate in 2020 as they will need to be more consistent offensively in order to get back to Oklahoma City. Lindaman had a pretty seamless transition to SEC play in 2019 as she hit .330 with 15 homeruns and 54 runs batted in. Hannah Adams is coming off a solid 2019 season where she hit .284 with three homeruns, 28 runs batted in and stole four bases. Jamie Hoover can hit for power and the entire lineup got a boost thanks to the addition of Michigan State transfer Charla Echols. In the shortened 2020 season, Echols was leading the team with a .417 batting average, eight homeruns and 28 RBIs before the campaign came to an early end. As for the pitching, there is the looming question of replacing Kelly Barnhill, which is easier said than done as she was dominant in 2019. Natalie Lugo, Katie Chronister, and Elizabeth Hightower, are all back to pitch in 2021 after playing second fiddle to Barnhill in 2019. Lugo picked up most of the innings in 2020, tallying 81.1 innings pitched with a 1.64 ERA. If Florida can make enough strides offensively then they will be back in Oklahoma City at the Women’s College World Series.
Projected Postseason: Women’s College World Series