The No. 3
Florida Softball team (39-2, 11-1 SEC) earned two wins over No. 8 LSU (29-6,
8-2 SEC), breaking an 11-game win streak the Tiger had held over the Gators.
Florida took game one 6-1 after hitting a school record six doubles, and won
game two 2-0, including a run on an inside the park home run by freshman Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.).
The Florida win ended a
17-game win streak this season by the Tigers. This marks only the second time
in school history the Gators have taken the series from the Tigers. The Gators
also won the best-of-three series in 2003 after the two teams split the
Saturday doubleheader and the Gators won the Sunday finale.
Floridaís six doubles in game one tied the
school record for doubles in a game that was set against Centenary on Feb. 2,
tallied nine hits in the game. Junior Ali
Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) led the way with a 2-for-2 performance
with a double, a run scored, a RBI and two walks. Sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
also had two hits on the day as she went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored
and a RBI.
Florida used three consecutive doubles in
the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana,
Calif.) led off the inning with a
double to left. Freshman Aja Paculba
(Wildomar, Calif.) followed with a double to score
Waleszonia and advanced to third on the throw home. Gardiner hit the third
double of the inning to score Paculba to put the Gators in the lead.
Florida used a four-run sixth to seal the
win. Sophomore Corrie Brooks
led off the inning with the fourth Gator double of the game. She came around to
score as Waleszonia attempted to sacrifice her to third, but the throw from the
LSU third baseman went into right field, leaving Waleszonia safe and putting
the Gators up 3-1. Waleszonia advanced to second on the play and headed for
third, but was tagged out as she attempted to slide under the tag from LSU
short stop Taylír Hollis. After a Paculba pop out, Gardiner grabbed a two-out
base hit to keep the Gator offense alive. Enea doubled to left to score
Gardiner from first. Senior Mary Ratliff
(Mt. Sterling, Ky.) reached and advanced to second and
Gardiner scored on an error by the Tiger centerfielder. Freshman Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.)
hit the record-tying sixth double of the game to score Ratliff and give Gators
the final 6-1 lead.
scored its one run in the opening frame. Jazz Jackson drew a one-out walk. She stole second
and advanced to third on a Gator error on the play. She came around to score on
a single to left field by Killian Roessner.
Tigers had another chance to score in the top of the sixth, as they loaded the
bases with two outs on two hits and a hit batter. Florida
junior pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
hung tough and struck out Shannon Stein for the final out of the inning.
improved to 24-2 on the year with the win. She allowed only three LSU hits in
the game while striking out six. LSU pitcher Dani Hofer struck out five and
walked five in the loss to move to 16-3 on the year. Tiffany Garcia pitched the
final out for LSU in relief of Hofer.
Gators got on the board in the bottom of the second in game two and held on
there for the 2-0 win. Five different Gators had each of the teamís five hits
in the game.
led off the Gator half of the second by reaching on an error by the Tiger
catcher. She advanced to second on a DeFelice sacrifice. Ratliff stole third
and scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Kristina
Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.). Then Bush ripped a shot off the
centerfield fence and just kept running. Head Coach Tim Walton waved her on the
whole way. The play at the plate was close, but Bush slid under LSU catcher
Roessner for the first inside the park home run since Walton took over the
Gator program and gave the Gators the 2-0 lead.
best chance to score came in the fifth inning. Hollis singled up the middle to
start the inning. Erika Sluss followed with a base hit to center. Jessica Mouse
reached on a fielderís choice as Gator first baseman Gardiner threw Hollis out
at third. Stein reached on an infield single to load the bases, but the Gator
defense was ready as freshman pitcher Stephanie
Brombacher (Pembroke Pines,
Fla.) and catcher Hilberth
connected to throw out Sluss and Mouse at home on consecutive fielderís choice
improved her record to a perfect 13-0 on the year. She struck out five and
allowed only one walk. Cody Trahan took the loss for LSU to move to 10-2 on the
teams will face off in the series finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The first 250
Gator fans will receive a set a trading cards featuring the Gator juniors. The
game will be broadcast live on GatorZone.com via Yahoo.com.††