This is Brentt Eads of Extra Inning Softball…
Two weeks ago, Kelly Barnhill—the outstanding senior pitcher for the Florida Gators—was selected as the #1 overall draft pick in the pro draft. The #2 pick was her UF teammate, Amanda Lorenz.
When I was at Student Sports, I got to cover Kelly and Amanda a lot in the 2014-2015 seasons. At that time, I was overseeing Student Sports Softball and did the player recruiting rankings for the Top 100 players in the Class of 2015.
Ironically, I had Amanda #1 and Kelly #2!
When I wrote Kelly’s bio for the top 100 rankings, here’s what I wrote then of her being #2 overall in her class and the #1 overall pitcher:
Kelly is so good, she's the rare recruit who can wait to the last minute to commit to a school, which is what she did in late October as she picked the National Champion Florida Gators over Stanford. Realistically, Kelly could have gone anywhere she wanted because her physical tools and skills are unmatched. She throws consistently in the 69-70 mph range and has hit the low 70's many times this year, but it's not just heat she throws--she has a rise and drop that are tough to lay off of and when batters start anticipating her speed she'll buckle knees with a brutal change-up. She has improved the last year in her consistency and confidence in throwing all her pitches. Kelly is also a blue-collar workhorse who's tough and durable, carrying her team deep into tournaments and nationals. At PGF Nationals she threw 31 innings with a 0.90 ERA and 64 strikeouts versus only four walks in 31 innings. Kelly also dominated this fall in the Georgia high school scene and was 28-5 with a 0.26 ERA heading into the final weekend of championship play. She also surpassed the 500-strikeout mark for the season, setting the all-time Georgia record set in 2002.
In the summer of 2014, at the So Cal A’s Invitational tournament held in Los Alamitos, California, I interviewed Kelly on camera in a piece we did for Student Sports Softball… you can see her talking here between games…
Later, in August of that year, I would have Kelly listed on my 2014 All-Summer Team: