Softball Preview: Lady Vols Open SEC Play at Florida

Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 7 Tennessee (16-2) opens Southeastern Conference play this weekend in Gainesville, Fla., as the Lady Vols take on No. 4 Florida for a three game series on March 8-10 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

The two programs have met only three other times to open conference play. Tennessee last started its SEC slate against Florida in 2012 when the then-No. 3 Gators took two of three games from then-No. 9 UT. The two teams have opened conference play together just three times since 1997 (1997, 2007 and 2012).

In program history, there have only been four other times that the Lady Vols and their opponents have both been ranked in the top 10 in the SEC’s opening weekend of play.

The Orange and White are coming off a 3-0 weekend at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., in which they outscored opponents 31-5. Freshman Kaili Phillips starred in the tournament, blasting four home runs en route to a .545 batting average and eight RBI on the weekend.

Broadcast Info

Friday, March 8

Saturday, March 9

Sunday, March 10

Need to Know

  • Dating back to 1997, Tennessee is 14-8 in games to open SEC play. On opening weekend of conference play, the Lady Vols own a 39-28 record, having won 13 weekend series overall. UT has lost six series and tied with opponents in three of them.
  • Tennessee leads the Southeastern Conference with a .374 batting average while Florida leads the SEC with a 1.29 ERA.  The Lady Vols’ average at the plate also ranks second in the nation whereas UF’s ERA sits at seventh in the country.
  • In fielding percentage, Tennessee holds the SEC and national crown with just four errors through 18 games (0.990). Florida is second in both with six errors through 23 games (0.990).
  • In 2019, UT has outscored its opponents 145-29 and fired 148 strikeouts. The Gators have totaled 194 K’s in the circle and outscored opponents 132-30.

Scouting Report

FLORIDA

  • Head coach Tim Walton is in his 14th year at the helm of the Gators’ squad. Last season, he led the program to its fourth straight SEC Regular Season Championship. After cruising through regionals, Florida fell in the WCWS to No. 4 Oklahoma to cap the 2018 season with a 56-11 record.
  • Through 23 games in 2019, Amanda Lorenz leads the Gators with a .443 batting average, 31 hits, four doubles, six home runs and 19 RBIs.  Her .757 slugging percentage and .540 on-base percentage are also tops on the squad. Lorenz is the active NCAA career leader in walks with 191 free passes.
  • Kelly Barnhill ranks first in the circle for Florida, having allowed just nine runs on 29 hits through 65.2 innings of work. She boasts a 0.69 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 16 appearances. Barnhill’s 12-1 record, five complete games and three shutouts also lead the staff.

All-Time Record vs. Florida: 26-50

  • In Knoxville: UF leads, 17-15
  • In Gainesville: UF leads, 27-6
  • At Neutral Sites: UF leads, 6-5
  • Last Meeting: UF won, 10-2 (5) in 2018 SEC Tournament

Past Five Meetings (UF leads, 4-1)

  • Date          Result                                 Location
  • 5/11/18      #2 UF 10, #5 UT 2 (5)         Columbia, Mo.
  • 4/30/17      #8 UT 5, #1 UF 1                Knoxville
  • 4/29/17      #1 UF 9, #8 UT 0                Knoxville
  • 4/28/17      #1 UF 5, #8 UT 0                Knoxville
  • 3/20/16      #1 UF 3, #16 UT 0              Gainesville

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