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Late run lifts Gators softball past Bulls

UF prevails 1-0 in a pitchers’ duel
USF softball coach Ken Eriksen addresses his team following Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to Florida in Gainesville. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times]
USF softball coach Ken Eriksen addresses his team following Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to Florida in Gainesville. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times]
Published Apr. 11, 2019|Updated Apr. 11, 2019

GAINESVILLE ― On a mild Gainesville evening when USF’s margin for error was as minimal as the humidity, the Bulls made nary a flaw.

Problem was, they also made nary an offensive peep.

In a classic duel of ace right-handers, the Bulls and seventh-ranked Florida managed only one hit apiece, but the Gators (33-9) used theirs to manufacture the game’s only run in a 1-0 triumph Wednesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

“Sometimes it’s a game of that,” Bulls coach Ken Eriksen said, holding his right thumb and forefinger about a centimeter apart. “Somebody had to get a W and somebody had to not.”

UF’s victory, its 16th in a row against USF (29-15), overshadowed a sparkling seven-inning performance by Bulls sophomore Georgina Corrick (16-3). Before a crowd of 1,113 and SEC Network audience, the 6-foot sophomore struck out four and walked four.

“One of the biggest things is the 6 inches between her ears,” Eriksen said. “She sees the game at a different level than a lot of people. ... She’s a bulldog.”

Her only encounter with trouble proved fatal and fleeting.

Gators pinch-hitter Cheyenne Lindsey’s leadoff liner to third base in the bottom of the sixth ricocheted off Dezarae Maldonado’s glove for an infield single. Two batters later, senior Amanda Lorenz walked.

Lindsey sprinted to third and slid under Maldonado’s tag after Kendyl Lindaman’s soft grounder to short, setting up cleanup hitter Sophia Reynoso’s sacrifice fly to deep center.

That’s all Gators senior ace Kelly Barnhill (22-5) needed. Barnhill fanned 11 and walked two. The only hit she surrendered was Bethaney Keen’s two-out double in the top of the fourth.

“We actually gave in to her a lot,” Eriksen said.

“We could’ve walked probably 10 times tonight. What Kelly’s velocity can do to you is instill a little bit of fear sometimes and get you a little apprehensive and get you out of your normal mode. ... She did what she had to do, she made some good pitches in crucial situations.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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