Saturday night Florida was crowned back-to-back Southeastern Conference Tournament Champions with a 2-1 victory over Alabama at Davis Diamond. Senior right-handed pitcher Kelly Barnhill got the start for Florida and put on a stellar performance limiting Alabama’s bats to just two hits and one run. The game was a pitching duel with junior Krystal Goodman getting the start for Alabama.
After three scoreless innings in the bottom of the fourth Alabama put one run up on the scoreboard when with runners on first and third and one out, Alabama scored on a fielder’s choice out to shortstop.
Alabama’s phenom freshman Montana Fouts entered the game in relief in the third inning getting the final out of the inning. In the top of the sixth inning though the Gator’s bats got to Fouts when with two out and runners on first and second, Amanda Lorenz gave the Gators the lead with a double down the left field line that scored two runs.
Montana Fouts took the loss in relief for Alabama while Kelly Barnhill got the win which was her 100th career victory and she is now only one of three pitchers in Florida history to have achieved that benchmark ( Stacey Nelson (2006-’09) – 136, Hannah Rogers (2011-’14) – 127 and Kelly Barnhill (2016-’19) -100).
When Barnhill is on her game its hard to defeat Florida. She ended the 2019 SEC Tournament with a 3-0 record, a 0.33 ERA, .075 opponent batting average, 21 innings pitched, five hits, one run and 24 strikeouts. She also earned SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player for her performances.
Here are a few interesting tournament related facts:
This is the fifth overall SEC Tournament title for the Florida program (2008, 2009, 2013, 2018 & 2019), which puts the program in a tie for the most titles held by a program. Alabama and LSU have also won the SEC Tournament five times.
It’s only the second time in program history that a team has won the title in back-to-back years and only the third time in SEC history that has occurred. Auburn won the tournament title in back-to-back season in 2015 and 2016.
All five of Florida’s SEC Tournament Titles have come under the guidance of head coach Tim Walton, which is more than any other coach in conference history.
It’s the first time a No. 6-seed has won the SEC Tournament Championship
2019 SEC All-Tournament Team
Kelly Barnhill Florida – MVP
Amanda Lorenz Florida
Sophia Reynoso Florida
Hannah Adams Florida
Montana Fouts Alabama
KB Sides Alabama
Skylar Wallace Alabama
Autumn Humes Kentucky
Abbey Cheek Kentucky
Morgan Podany Auburn
Ashlee Swindle Auburn