Softball2010 NCAA Women's College World Series
Fourth-seeded Florida (46-8) advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals with a 13-3, five-inning victory over FIU (38-21) on Sunday afternoon at Pressly Stadium.
Florida junior Stephanie Brombacher (32-6) earned the win, allowing four hits, three runs, one walk and struck out seven. FIU senior Kasey Barrett (19-13) shouldered the loss, going three innings, allowing four hits, seven runs, six earned, two walks and struck out two.
The Gators started off strong, scoring five runs in the top of the first, highlighted by freshman Brittany Schutte’s first career grand slam. Sophomore Michelle Moultrie led off with a four-pitch walk and sophomore Aja Paculba followed when she was hit by a pitch. Junior Kelsey Bruder reached on an error by second baseman Brie Rojas and Moultrie scored the first run when she was hit. Schutte then smashed one off the scoreboard, her 15th of the season, the second most on the team.
FIU got two runs back in the bottom of the inning. After Brombacher retired the lead-off batter with a strikeout, Beth Peller tallied an infield single and moved to second when Ashley McClain knocked a base hit through the right side. Rojas doubled down the left-field line, scoring Peller and Jenny Welch recorded a sac fly to right, cutting the UF lead to three. UF Senior Corrie Brooks got back the two runs in third with a two-run bomb, her ninth of the season with two outs.
Florida broke open the game in the fourth with five runs on three hits as new pitcher Jennirfer Gniadek came in to relieve Barrett. She started out walking Paculba and Bruder moved her teammate to third on a single through the right side. Bruder advanced to second on the throw and Enea was hit by a pitch for the second time to load the bases. Schutte drew a four-pitch walk to score the Gators’ eighth run. Bush doubled up the middle, scoring Bruder and Enea and Schutte scored on Gniadek’s wild pitch while Junior Tiffany DeFelice was at the plate. The catcher smacked one between the third baseman and shortstop, plating Bush and giving Florida the 12-2 lead.
The Panthers earned one run back in the fourth as Rojas led off with a solo shot just inside the left-field foul pole.
Florida scored its final run in the fifth when Bruder tallied a one-out single through the right side and moved to second on a wild pitch. Schutte walked for the second time and Bush hit a bloop single to center, driving in Bruder. Brombacher ended the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth, which included two strikeouts.
Florida Head Coach Tim Walton
Opening statement: “It was huge, playing at home, the way we responded and coming out here and taking care of business in the first game against a good team. I'm really pleased because I think that's the first time they've been run-ruled this year. It was a good effort on our part and obviously the first five runs in the game were huge. It gave them momentum and Stephanie carried that momentum through. I'm just happy to set goals and be able to achieve regional success. Moving on to the Super Regional is huge for stability in the program because of how much success we've had in the past and whether or not we would be able to transition from one pitcher to the other and I think Stephanie answered that call.”
On his feelings toward the current squad: I'm really excited about this ball club. I don't get excited very often because I have a very mellow approach, but that grand slam really fired me up. I'm excited about where we are able to go, not because everyone in the media thinks that we're bound for the College World Series and looking to win a championship but we're not. We're just looking to have fun and take care of business the next game. There's no pressure on us, we don't feel the same expectations that everyone else does because we're just excited to win.”
Florida Junior Pitcher Stephanie Brombacher
On falling to FIU earlier in the season: “I think we just thought of it as another game. We needed to win this game to move on to the Super Regionals and that's how we took it.”
Florida Freshman Utility Player Brittany Schutte
On how post season play differs from regular season: “I think you have to have the same mind-set and game plan when you're going up to the plate and looking for your pitch. I'm looking forward to moving on and I look up to the upperclassman and try to follow their lead because they're really good examples of how to keep yourself composed in these situations.”
FIU Head Coach Beth McClendon
On today’s performance versus the Gators: “Obviously we would like to have had a better showing today, but I think we really battled and left a lot on the field yesterday and it really wore us down having to play 10-inning and seven-inning games. We did some unbelievable things this year making a lot of history for FIU and I’m proud of how this team performed.”
FIU Senior Pitcher Kasey Barrett
On whether the magnitude of today’s game affected her in the first inning: “No, it had nothing to do with it. I think it had more to do with the fact that we had a long day yesterday like coach said. In regards to the first inning, I did have a bunch of mechanical problems and I could not throw strikes. It also hurts to give up free bases.”
FIU Freshman Second Baseman Brie Rojas
On her home run in the fourth inning against Brombacher: “I could see Brombacher really well today, she was coming in and I made it to a 3-2 count at my first at bat eventually getting a hit. I came up second and knew she was going to come in with the first pitch so I just let my hands go and do the work.”
- Florida earned their 30th tournament win as they improved to 16-15 in regional play.
- The Gators move on to their fourth-consecutive NCAA Super Regional.
- The current Gator team moved into second place in the school record book for RBIs in a season with 381.
- Junior pitcher Stephanie Brombacher earned her 74th career win, tying her for second on Florida's career pitching record book.
- Freshman Brittany Schutte hit her first grand slam and increased the freshman home run record to 15. It was Florida's 10th grand slam of the season of the season.
- Senior third baseman Corrie Brooks hit the 100th home run of the season with her two-run shot in the third, her 25th career bomb.
- Senior left fielder Francesca Enea was hit a pitch twice for the second time this season, the other coming against Mississippi State on May 1.
- This game marked the first time FIU gave up over 10 runs this season and the first time Kasey Barrett has given up more than seven runs.
- FIU entered the game with a 1-0 advantage this season, defeating the Gators 8-3 at Katie Seashole Pressly stadium on April 20, 2010.
- Pitcher Kasey Barrett started the game slow hitting two batters and walking one. After an error and a grand slam, the Gators had a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
- With a double in the first and home run in the forth, Brie Rojas earned her third and forth RBI against the Gators this year.
- FIU finishes the year 38-21 with a school-record two post-season victories.