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All-American Kendyl transfers to Florida from Minnesota

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PostPosted: 08.12.2018 9:34    Post subject: All-American Kendyl transfers to Florida from Minnesota Reply with quote

Despite recording its two lowest team slugging percentages in a decade, Florida reached the Women's College World Series in each of the past two seasons. Imagine what the Gators would have done with one of college softball's best sluggers added to the middle of their lineup.

Or don't imagine. Just wait for Kendyl Lindaman to play this spring and see for yourself.

A two-time All-American in as many seasons at Minnesota, Lindaman made the Gators the latest winners in a softball offseason full of high-profile transfers. She announced her decision to transfer to Florida in an Instagram post Friday, and the school said she will be eligible to play immediately.

Lindaman presumably fills an immediate positional need at catcher for the Gators, who lost mainstay Janell Wheaton to graduation after last season. But most teams in Division I would find a place in the lineup for Lindaman regardless of depth chart.

As a freshman, she hit .426 with 20 home runs and 1.497 OPS in 2017 (but saw her team denied a national seed in the NCAA tournament in a season in which they finished 56-5 and won a Big Ten regular-season title).

The Gophers lost their coach and ace after that season when Jessica Allister took a job at Stanford and Sara Groenewegen moved on to the professional ranks, but Lindaman hardly missed a beat. Despite a dip in average as a sophomore, she still hit 20 home runs with a 1.364 OPS.

Her .832 slugging percentage ranked 16th in the nation in 2018 and sixth among players in a major conference.

Only Georgia senior Alyssa DiCarlo enters 2019 with more career home runs among active players in a major conference -- and Lindaman still has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

In pitcher Kelly Barnhill, outfielder Amanda Lorenz and Lindaman, the Gators start this season with three players who ranked among the top eight in espnW's top 25 players a season ago and performed up to those expectations. Florida's run production the past two seasons suffered only in comparison to its own standard of excellence -- the Gators still ranked sixth in the nation in runs per game and 32nd in slugging percentage. But pairing Lindaman and Lorenz harkens back to the slugging-happy lineups with the likes of Francesca Enea and Kelsey Bruder last decade.

Lindaman joins Giselle Juarez, who transferred from Arizona State to Oklahoma, as the biggest names to change teams this offseason. But the list of notables also includes names such as Miranda Elish, Lauren Burke and Shannon Rhodes (Oregon to Texas), Danielle Gibson (Arizona State to Arkansas), Cielo Meza (Long Beach State to Arizona State), Keeli Milligan (Texas A&M to Louisiana-Lafayette), Katie Prebble (Gardner-Webb to South Carolina), Amanda Sanchez (Missouri to LSU) and Samantha Show (Texas A&M to Oklahoma State).

The Gators open the 2019 season on Feb. 8 and play both Michigan and Arizona a day later during a tournament in Tampa hosted by South Florida.
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