FULLERTON, Calif. — Florida’s Kelly Barnhill is the reigning USA Softball national collegiate player of the year, and she showed Baylor why she’s so highly regarded.
Barnhill collected 13 strikeouts in six innings before Aleshia Ocasio pitched the final inning to complete the no-hitter as the No. 2 Gators romped to a 4-0 win over No. 8 Baylor on Saturday in the Judi Garman Classic.
With Caitlin Charlton, Shelby Friudenburg and Goose McGlaun blasting homers, the Lady Bears bounced back with a 7-1 win over Charlotte for their first win in the tournament. Baylor dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 25 Michigan in Friday’s tournament opener.
Baylor (10-2) will finish the tournament with two games Sunday, including Iowa at 11 a.m. and No. 18 Louisiana at 4 p.m.
Barnhill (9-0) experienced control issues as she walked five batters, but the Lady Bears could never deliver a hit. In the seventh inning, Ocasio walked a batter before ending the game with three strikeouts as the Gators improved to 19-1.
It marked the first time Baylor was no-hit since 2003 by LSU’s Kristin Schmidt.
“We were not good at all against Florida,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “We were facing a real good pitcher but I was disappointed in our approach. She had moments where she struggled, but she’d come back to shut us down.”
Baylor ace Gia Rodoni (5-2) lost her second straight game as she allowed five hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings before Regan Green relieved.
“I thought Gia threw really well and did some good things, but she was just facing a strong lineup,” Moore said.
The Gators scored in the first inning when Hannah Adams reached on an error and came across on Kayli Kvistad’s sacrifice fly. Kvistad blasted a solo homer in the fourth inning before Nicole DeWitt drilled a two-run homer in the fifth.
The Lady Bears bounced back with a nine-hit attack against Charlotte (6-10) as they overcame a 1-0 deficit with two runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
Nikki Dawson hit a two-run double in the fifth before Charlton blasted a three-run homer in the sixth. Friudenburg and McGlaun drilled back to back solo homers in the seventh. With her 41st career homer, Friudenburg is tied with Brette Reagan for second on Baylor’s career list.
Green (3-0) dominated Charlotte as she threw a three-hitter and collected 10 strikeouts. Charlotte pitcher Haley Wiseman allowed eight hits and four walks in six innings.
“I think we were a little demoralized and faced a pitcher that wasn’t bad,” Moore said. “She threw hard and had good stuff and it took us a while to figure her out. We battled and got something going and didn’t let our foot off the pedal.”