Kelly Barnhill
Personal information
National teamUnited States
Born (1997-03-31) March 31, 1997 (age 25)
Marietta, Georgia
EducationPope High School
Alma materUniversity of Florida
OccupationSoftball pitcher
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Sport
SportSoftball
PositionPitcher
University teamFlorida Gators
LeagueNational Pro Fastpitch
TeamChicago Bandits
Turned pro2019

Kelly Katlyn Barnhill (born March 31, 1997)[1] is an American, former collegiate All-American, professional softball pitcher.[2][3][4] She played college softball for the Florida Gators from 2016 to 2019 and was named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Honda Sports Award and espnW Player of the Year in 2017. She is the career no hitters (7), strikeouts, strikeout ratio (10.5) and WHIP leader for the Gators.[5] She also ranks in career strikeout ratio for both the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA Division I.[6][7]

Barnhill was selected first overall by the Chicago Bandits in the 2019 NPF Draft. In 2020, she participated in the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Softball league.[8] Barnhill has also played softball for Team USA and Team Mexico, who both qualified for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics.

Early life and high school

Born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, Barnhill tried out many sports in her youth, beginning with soccer.[9] She would eventually drop soccer in favor of softball, citing that there was "way too much running" in soccer.[9] She played travel ball with the EC Bullets Gold Barnhill attended Pope High School in Marietta, where she recorded 22 no-hitters and was a three time Pope High School MVP.[9][10] She led Pope to the 2014 class 6A state championship.[11] Barnhill considered attending Stanford University,[12] but committed to the University of Florida in October 2014, during her senior year of high school.[1][9]

Barnhill's high school softball play was recognized—in 2015, she was named the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year and the USA Today Softball Player of the Year.[13] She was also named NFCA and Louisville Slugger High School All-American. In 2013 and 2014, she was a candidate for the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year before being named in 2015.[11]

College career

2016

Barnhill played her freshman season for the Florida Gators in 2016. During the year, she was twice named the SEC Freshman of the Week.[13] She was named to the 2016 SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll, as well as the 2016 SEC All-Freshman Team.[13] She finished her freshman season with a 15-1 record, as well as 167 strikeouts and an opponents' batting average of .140 in 108.1 innings pitched.[13]

2017

In 2017, Barnhill led the NCAA in earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts per seven innings (0.51 and 13.0, respectively).[14] Those statistics were records among University of Florida pitchers; Barnhill set additional school records in lowest opponent batting average (.121), most combined shutouts (10), most strikeouts looking (100) and lowest stolen base percentage (.333).[14] She was named an All-SEC First Team player.[1] Heading into the SEC Tournament, the Gators were ranked No. 1 in the nation, and Barnhill was named the SEC Pitcher of the Year.[9]

Her ERA during the season was noted by sports outlets, espnW commented in April that "the company she keeps in ERA at the moment is the context by which it is clear that she is the nation's best pitcher."[15] espnW later named her their Softball Player of the Year, describing her as "NCAA softball's most statistically dominant pitching presence in a decade."[16] She won the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top softball player.[17][18] She was also named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year in 2017.[19] On July 12, 2017, she was awarded the ESPY Award for Best Female College Athlete, for the 2017 season.[20] She was the first player in Florida's softball program history to win an ESPY award.[14]

2018

Barnhill was an academic honoree in 2018.[12] She was also named the NCAA Division I Academic All-American of the Year in softball.[12] Barnhill also earned her second All-SEC First Team and SEC Pitcher of the Year selections.[1] The Gators enjoyed team success as well, as they won the 2018 SEC Softball Tournament.[21]

2019

Entering her senior year, Barnhill became a founding member of UF's Alpha Phi chapter.[12] Barnhill played her fourth and final season of collegiate softball in 2019.[22] She was named to the All-SEC Second Team, as well as her third consecutive SEC Academic Honor Roll.[13] The Gators defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide to win their second consecutive SEC Tournament championship.[21] Barnhill was named the MVP of the tournament.[21] At the end of her Gators softball career, she held school records in ERA (0.92), opponent batting average (.124), and strikeouts (1,208).[13][23] She finished her Gators career as the Florida program's career strikeouts leader.[24]

Professional career

On April 16, 2019, the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch league selected Barnhill first overall in the 2019 NPF Draft.[25] Her teammate at Florida, Amanda Lorenz, was selected directly after her by the USSSA Pride.[26] The Bandits finished with the best regular season record in the 2019 NPF season,[27] but went on to be swept by the Pride in the best–of–five championship series.[28] Barnhill signed a one-year extension with the Bandits on February 10, 2020.[29]

National team career

Barnhill has represented Team USA since 2015, when she was a member of the USA Junior Women's national softball team. That year she was a gold medalist at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women's Softball World Championship.[1] During that competition, Barnhill led the U.S. pitching staff with a 6-0 record, 51 strikeouts and a 0.54 ERA in 26 innings pitched.[1]

Barnhill then represented the USA Women's national softball team at the 2016 World Cup of Softball, and earned a silver medal.[1] At the 2016 WBSC Women's Softball World Championship, Barnhill was a gold medalist, pitching four innings with four strikeouts and two hits allowed.[1]

Barnhill again represented the women's national softball team during their second consecutive gold medal run in 2018.[12] During the competition, she pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.[1]

Career statistics

Florida Gators
YEAR W L GP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
2016 15 1 27 24 7 6 1 108.1 52 24 21 55 167 1.36 0.99
2017 26 4 37 30 17 13 3 193.2 79 22 14 39 359 0.50 0.61
2018 29 3 41 38 23 11 0 214.1 85 46 33 76 324 1.08 0.75
2019 34 14 52 45 29 14 3 287.0 150 70 66 81 358 1.61 0.80
TOTALS 104 22 157 137 76 44 7 803.1 366 162 134 251 1208 1.17 0.77

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Kelly Barnhill". Team USA. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "2017 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Teams". National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "2018 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Teams". National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "2019 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Teams". National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "2019 Individual Career Records" (PDF). floridagators.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "SEC 2020 Softball Record Book" (PDF). espncdn.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "Division I Softball Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "Kelly Barnhill". Auprosports.com. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  9. ^ a b c d e Lopresti, Mike (May 10, 2017). "College softball: Florida's Barnhill dominating on the field and off". NCAA. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  10. ^ McPherson, Jordan (2017). "Florida softball's Kelly Barnhill has Olympic aspirations, but she's after NCAA title now". SEC Country. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Kelly Barnhill - Softball". Florida Gators. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e Hays, Graham (February 7, 2019). "After thinking long and hard, ace Kelly Barnhill casts herself in underdog role at Florida". espnW. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "2019 Softball Roster: Kelly Barnhill". Florida Gators. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "College softball: Florida's Kelly Barnhill receives ESPY Award for Best Female Collegiate Athlete". NCAA. July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Hays, Graham (April 19, 2017). "Florida's Kelly Barnhill named espnW player of the week after outdoing even herself". espnW. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  16. ^ Hays, Graham (June 1, 2017). "Going above and beyond, Florida's Kelly Barnhill named espnW softball player of the year". espnW. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  17. ^ "Barnhill of Florida Named Honda Sport Award winner for Softball". Collegiate Women Sports Awards. June 12, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Florida's Barnhill captures Honda Sports Award". secsports.com. SEC Network. June 12, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  19. ^ "Florida's Kelly Barnhill Named 2017 USA Softball National Collegiate Player". FloSoftball. July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  20. ^ Wells, Adam (July 12, 2017). "ESPY 2017 Winners: Awards Results, Recap, Top Moments and Twitter Reaction". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  21. ^ a b c Brooks, Herb (May 12, 2019). "Back-to-Back SEC Tournament Champions". Florida Gators. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  22. ^ @kkatlyn111 (June 6, 2019). "It's been one heck of a ride! The last four years have been an absolute dream. #alwaysagator" (Tweet). Retrieved September 29, 2019 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Barnes, Katie (June 1, 2019). "WCWS 2019: Ignore the score, Kelly Barnhill went out a winner in Oklahoma City". espnW. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "College softball - Vote for the best Women's College World Series team of all time". ESPN. June 3, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  25. ^ Carrington, Adam (April 16, 2019). "Former Pope softball star Barnhill chosen first overall in pro draft". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  26. ^ Barnes, Katie (February 7, 2019). "Chicago Bandits make Florida's Kelly Barnhill top pick in NPF draft". espnW. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "Bandits Clinch Regular Season Title". National Pro Fastpitch. August 7, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  28. ^ Lombardo, Kayla (August 17, 2019). "USSSA Pride Capture Second Straight Cowles Cup". National Pro Fastpitch. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  29. ^ "Pitcher Kelly Barnhill Signs One-Year Agreement with Bandits". National Pro Fastpitch. February 10, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2020.