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Friday February 29, 2008Softball Wins Two at Worth Invitational

Fullerton, CA

Florida head softball coach Tim Walton said the test for his team would be how it responded to their loss on Wednesday. The Gators (21-1) responded well, tallying 26 hits and 18 runs in two wins on Friday, 8-0 in six innings over Oregon State (8-9), and 10-2 over Pacific.


Four players combined for 18 of Florida’s 26 hits. Freshman Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) led the way, going 3-for-3 with a home run, a RBI and two runs scored against Oregon State and 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored against Pacific. Senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) hit 5-for-7 in the two games with two home runs, a double, five runs scored and four RBI. Freshman Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) went 1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored against Oregon State and improved to a 3-for-4 performance with two RBI against Pacific. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) went 5-for-9 over the two games with a triple and two runs scored.


The Gators hit four home runs to lead to their 8-0, eight-run rule win over Oregon State in the first game of the day.


Florida jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Junior Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) started the Gators with an infield base hit. She stole second. With two outs, sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) ripped a base hit up the middle, scoring Hilberth from second for a 1-0 Gator lead. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) was hit by a Stefanie Draper pitch. Ratliff stepped up to the plate and knocked a line drive over the fence in left center field for her fourth home run of the season and a 4-0 lead for Florida. DeFelice continued the Gator two-out rally with a base hit through the right side. Bush hit the second home run of the inning and her third of the year to increase Florida’s lead to six runs.


The Gators added another run in the third inning on a two-out solo home run from DeFelice. It was her fourth of the year.


Florida scored its final run of the game in the top of the sixth on Ratliff’s second home run of the game to open the inning.


Junior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) gave up only one hit in the win to move to 12-1 on the season. She struck out eight batters and walked none in 5.0 innings. Freshman Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) pitched the final inning for the Gators in relief of Nelson. Draper took the loss for Oregon State to move to 5-3 on the year.


Florida’s scoring came more steadily in its 10-2 win over Pacific.


Waleszonia started the game against Pacific with a triple to left center and came home to score on a throwing error by the Tiger short stop with Walton aggressively waving her on the whole trip.


Ratliff led off the top of the second with a base hit up the middle. DeFelice stepped up to the plate and hit her fifth home run of the season, the first with a runner on base, to give the Gators a 3-0 lead.


The Tigers narrowed the gap in the bottom half of the second. Nicole Matson led off the inning with a base hit to left. With two outs, Karie Wilson hit a ground rule double that bounced over the left field fence to make the score 3-1.


Florida went up by three runs again in the top of the fourth. With one out, junior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) drove a base hit through the left side. Waleszonia followed with a bunt single. Hilberth was safe on a fielder’s choice as Pacific tried to throw Brooks out at third, but third baseman Kellee Wilson missed the bag, leaving the bases loaded. Freshman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) found herself safe at first on a fielder’s choice as Brooks was thrown out at home. Waleszonia scored on a wild pitch to go up 4-1.


Pacific narrowed the game to two runs again with a lead off home run from Kellee Wilson in the bottom of the fourth.


Florida’s bats took over from their, plating two runs in each of the final three innings.


Ratliff led off the top of the fifth with a double to right center field. She came home on a Bush base hit to center. Freshman Ami Austin (Ormond Beach, Fla.) came in to pinch run for Bush. Austin scored from first on a Brooks double for the 6-2 Gator lead.


Florida increased its lead to 8-2 in the sixth. Paculba started the inning with a base hit through the left side. She stole second and advanced to third on an Enea ground out. Ratliff drew a two-out walk, putting Gators at first and third. Ratliff moved to steal second, distracting the Pacific defense enough to allow Paculba to steal home and give Ratliff second. DeFelice added another base hit to her total for the day, moving Ratliff to third. Bush tallied her second RBI of the game as she plated Ratliff with a base hit to right.


The Gators scored their last two runs in the final frame. With two outs, Paculba reached on an error by the Pacific short stop. Enea earned two RBI with her sixth home run of the season, giving Florida the 10-2 lead.


Freshman pitcher Stephanie Brombacher struck out seven in the win to improve to 8-0 on the year. Alyce Jorgensen (0-4) took the loss for Pacific.


Florida continues Worth Invitational play on Saturday as they take on host Cal State Fullerton at 6:45 p.m. ET.



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