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Saturday March 15, 2008Softball Completes Sweep of Arkansas With 7-2 Win

Fayetteville, AR

The No. 4 Florida Softball team (31-2, 7-1 SEC) completed its second Southeastern Conference sweep, as they defeated Arkansas (21-9, 1-5 SEC), 7-2, in the series finale in Fayetteville on Saturday.

 

Florida scored its seven runs on 12 hits, while holding Arkansas to only two runs on five hits. Four different Gators tallied two hits each on the day with eight different players getting hits overall.

 

The Florida bats heated up and scored three runs in the top of the fourth to come back from being down 1-0. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) led off the inning with a double to left center. Fellow junior Danyell Hines (Bryan, Texas) entered the game to pinch run for her. Senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) followed with a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.). A walk to freshman Kristen Adkins (McKinney, Texas) loaded the bases. Freshman Kristine Priebe (Moorpark, Calif.) was hit by a Katy Henry pitch to bring home Hines for the first Gator run of the game. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) knocked a sacrifice fly deep into center field, scoring Ratliff and putting the Gators up 2-1. Freshman Aja Paculba’s (Wildomar, Calif.) pushed Adkins across the plate for the two-run Gator lead.

 

Florida added to its lead in the following inning. Freshman Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) started the inning with a double. Gardiner stepped up to the plate and took the first offering from Henry over the fence for her second home run of the season. Miranda Dixon came in to replace Henry in the circle for Arkansas. Ratliff grabbed the Gators’ third consecutive hit of the inning through the right side. She moved to second on Bush’s second sacrifice bunt of the game. Sophomore Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) drove a base hit through the left side to score Ratliff to put her team up 6-1.

 

The Gators scored their final run in the top of the seventh as pinch hitting freshman Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) blasted the first home run of her Gator career over the right field fence.    

 

The home team got on the board first in the bottom of the opening inning. They pushed a run across with no hits in the inning. Leadoff batter Jessica Bachkora drew a walk from Florida junior pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.). Bachkora advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Kayla Johnson. Bachkora moved to third on a passed ball, then scored on a sacrifice fly to left for the 1-0 lead.

 

Arkansas’ second run crossed the plate in the fifth. Johnson led off the inning with a base hit. Dixon drew her third walk of the game, this one from Florida freshman pitcher Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.). A Whitney Cloer base hit to left center scored Johnson from second.

 

Nelson earned the win for Florida to improve to 19-2 on the year. Brombacher pitcher the final three innings to earn the first save of her Gator career. Henry took the loss for Arkansas as she gave up five of the seven runs. Her record moves to 10-4 for the season.

 

Florida will have next week off from conference play as it takes the field again on Wednesday. The game is set for 5 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Saturday and Sunday the Gators will play a three-game set with Longwood. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at noon with Sunday’s single game at 11 a.m.

 

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