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Saturday March 22, 2008Softball Takes Doubleheader From Longwood, 9-1 and 6-0

Gainesville, FL

Led by a four RBI performance by junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) in game one and a five-run sixth inning in game two, the No. 3/4 Florida softball team (34-2) took two games from Longwood University (17-9) Saturday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Florida won game one 9-1 and the second 6-0.


The Gators took the first game 9-1 in five innings by the eight-run rule with the help of a three-hit complete game by junior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.). Offensively, Gardiner was a perfect 2-for-2 in the game knocking in four, scoring once and walking once. Junior Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) also had two hits in the game, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run. Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) scored three runs and stole two bases after reaching base in all three of her at bats.


Nelson bettered her record to 20-2 on the season as she struck out five and allowed only one run over five innings. Rachel Mills took the loss for Longwood to move to 8-5, as she gave up all nine runs and eight of the nine Gator hits.


The Gators got out of the gate quickly with a four run first inning which saw all nine batters appear at the plate. Waleszonia led off with a single and immediately swiped second. Freshmen Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) singled to right. Gardiner followed with a RBI single, giving Florida its first run of the game. Freshmen Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) walked and Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) made the score 2-0 with a single to right allowing Gardiner to score. Hilberth finished the first inning with a two-out infield single that knocked in both Enea and Ratliff, putting the game at 4-0 in favor of the Gators.


Waleszonia would pick up right where she left off by reaching first in the second inning and stealing second for her 18th stolen base of the season. Her second run of the game would come on a slow roller to third by DeFelice, putting the Orange and Blue up 5-1.


Florida continued its scoring in the third, batting around for a second time in the game. After Longwood pitcher Rachel Mills walked in Hilberth with the bases loaded to make it 6-1 Florida, Gardiner connected with a bases clearing double to center that gave the game its final score.  


The Lancers would score their only run of the first game in the top of the second with a one out RBI single by Catelyn Slagle that watched Tricia Nelson cross the plate.


Florida continued its momentum by picking up its 34th victory of the season with a 6-0 win in the second game, thanks in part to a five-run sixth inning by UF that sent 11 batters to the plate.


Freshmen pitcher Kristen Adkins (McKinney, Texas) made her first collegiate start picking up her first career victory. Adkins scattered four hits over four innings of scoreless pitching to keep her ERA perfect. Freshmen Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) entered the game in the fifth and preserved the shutout by recording her second save of the season.


Enea was a flawless 2-for-2 at the plate with three RBI, two runs, and a walk. Paculba had another solid game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.


The Gators wasted no time taking the lead in game two, when Enea broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second with a leadoff solo shot to center that gave the Gators a 1-0 lead.


The Gators added five runs on six hits in the sixth. Waleszonia, Paculba and Gardiner started the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases. DeFelice knocked in Waleszonia to make it 2-0 Florida. Enea followed with a two-RBI base hit to score Paculba and Gardiner. Enea stole second allowing DeFelice to swipe home giving the Gators a 5-0 lead. After Ratliff reached first on a walk and Bruder singled to load the bases again, pinch-hitting freshmen Kristine Priebe (Moorpark, Calif.) made it 6-0 Florida with a sharp hit ball to third that allowed Enea to score.


Florida will conclude the three-game series with the Lancers tomorrow at 11 a.m.

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