The Florida softball team won its 30th game of the 2008
season, sweeping a double header at Arkansas
(21-8, 1-4 SEC) 1-0 and 3-1. Florida
now stands at 30-2 on the season and 6-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Florida opened the scoring early in the
second game of the day. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) reached on an Arkansas error to lead off the game. Freshman
Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) drove a base hit through the left
side and advanced to second on the throw. Waleszonia
held up at third, leaving two Gators in scoring position. A wild pitch from
Lady Back pitcher Miranda Dixon allowed Waleszonia to
score and moved Paculba to third. A solid hit through
the left side by sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland
Hills, Calif.) plated
Paculba and put the Gators up 2-0.
Arkansas cut the Gator lead in half in the
bottom of the opening frame. Leadoff batter Jessica Bachkora
grabbed a base hit to center. She advanced to second on a Kayla Johnson
sacrifice bunt. Miranda Dixon walked to put the Lady Backs at first and third.
Following a strikeout from Florida freshman
pitcher Stephanie Brombacher
(Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Whitney Cloer
knocked a RBI single to right center scoring Backhora
to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Gators.
Florida went up 3-1 in the top of the
fifth. Paculba lead off the inning with a walk from Dixon. She advanced to
second on an Enea sacrifice bunt right in front of
the plate. Paculba moved over to third on a ground
out to third by junior Ali Gardiner
N.Y.). An error by Arkansas allowed Paculba to score for the tw-run
Brombacher improved to 11-0 on the season with the win. She allowed only four
hits, walked two and struck out five. Dixon took
the loss for Arkansas
to move to 8-3 on the year.
saw the pitchers battle each other from the circle, but a late Gator run proved
to be the difference in the game.
teams were knotted at 1-1 going into the seventh inning, when an Arkansas error and timely Gator hitting gave Florida the 1-0 lead.
With two outs in the inning, Waleszonia reached and
advanced to second on an error. Paculba stepped up
and knocked her third hit of the day, a double, to left to score Waleszonia.
Arkansas made things interesting in the
bottom half of the seventh. With one out, Sandra Smith and Whitney Cloer hit back-to-back base singles to center, putting the
Lady Backs in a first and third situation. Florida junior pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
handled her own though as she forced a Dayna Huckabee ground out back to the circle and struck out
Samantha Buckner for the final out of the game.
win, Nelson improved to 18-2 on the season and recorded her seventh complete
game shut out. She struck out nine and did not give up a walk in the game while
scattering four Lady Back hits. Katy Henry gave up nine hits to the Gators in
the loss to move to 10-3. She struck out seven and walked one.
Gators and Lady Backs will play the final game of the three-game set Saturday
at 1 p.m. ET. The game will air live on GatorZone.com via Yahoo.com.