of Florida Softball team
(19-0) won its third regular-season tournament on Sunday afternoon. The Gators
took the Aquafina Invitational title with a 5-2 win
over Notre Dame (4-5).
Junior Kristina Hilberth
and freshman AjaPaculba (Wildomar, Calif.) each hit 2-for-3 on the day. Both of
Hilberth’s hits were bunt singles, while Paculba scored two of the Gators’ five runs on the day.
Florida took an early 2-0 lead in the
bottom half of the first inning. Junior Kim
Calif.) was hit by a Brittney Bargar pitch to lead off. Hilberth
followed with a bunt single to the Notre Dame pitcher.
Paculba plated Waleszonia
with a base hit up the middle for the 1-0 lead. Following a Notre Dame double
play, junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) reached on a Notre Dame error,
allowing Paculba to score from second.
Florida increased its lead to five runs in the fifth as Francesca Enea(Woodland Hills, Calif.)
blasted a three-run home run out just inside the left field foul pole. That was
Enea’s fifth home run of the season, besting her
total from last season.
Dame came back, narrowing Florida’s
lead to three runs in the sixth inning. Florida
junior pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos,
Calif.) had a no hitter going
until Notre Dame’s Sarah Smith led off the sixth with a bloop
base hit just on the grass in left field. Sadie Pitzenberger
followed with a single through the left side and Katie Fleury
walked to load the bases. The Gator defense pulled off a difficult double play
from Gardiner to Hilberth at home and back to first
where Paculba was covering. The play still left two
Irish runners in scoring position for Heather Johnson. Johnson knocked a
two-RBI base hit to left to make the score 5-2.
moved to 11-0 on the season as she fanned a career-high 13 Irish batters. She
struck out the side in both the second and the seventh innings and threw six
consecutive strikeouts in the first, second and third innings. Bargar took the loss for Notre Dame, evening her record at
Florida goes away from the friendly confines of the Katie SeasholePressly Stadium for the
first time in 14 games next week as they travel to California. The Gators will play a single
game at Long BeachState (rv) on Wednesday and
face off against OregonState (rv), Pacific, No. 23
Cal State Fullerton, Louisville
(rv) and No. 12 Stanford in the Worth Invitational in