The No. 3
Florida softball team (42-2, 14-1 SEC) took two games over Mississippi State
(32-13, 6-9 SEC) in Starkville
on Saturday afternoon. Florida
won the first game 5-0 and came from behind to take the second game 7-2.
Florida junior pitcher Stacey
Nelson (Los Alamitos,
Calif.) set a new school record
for career wins as she earned the win in both games to record her 75th career
win. The previous record was 74 games by Stacey Stevens from 2004-07.
The Florida offense was
potent in the doubleheader as seven different Gators earned multiple hits on
the day. Sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland
Hills, Calif.) led
the way with a 3-for-5 performance with five RBI, two runs scored, a double and
two home runs. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) led the team with three runs scored,
as she hit 3-for-7 on the day with two RBI and a double
Florida wasted no time getting in the
game as the team put their first run on the board in the top of the first. Junior
got on board as she was hit by a Misty Flesher pitch. With one out, Gardiner knocked a double to left
center, scoring Waleszonia from first for a 1-0 Gator
Florida added two more runs in the top of
the third. Waleszonia led off the inning again, this
time with a double down the left field line. Gardiner followed with a one-out
base hit down the left field line. Waleszonia came
home on a sacrifice fly by Enea. Senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) continued the Gator rally with a base
on balls. A base hit by freshman Megan
Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.)
plated Gardiner to put Florida
Gators scored their final runs in the top of the seventh. Waleszonia
led off the inning with a bunt single, but was put out at second on a fielderís
choice play that left freshman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.)
safe at first. Enea knocked a two-out, two-run homer
out in left center, giving the Gators the final 5-0 victory.
her record to 26-2 on the season with the win. She struck out seven and walked
only one, while scattering five hits. Flesher pitched the first four innings
for Mississippi State, moving to 13-7 with the loss. She
gave up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three Gator
batters. Elizabeth Woolven threw the final three
innings, giving up two runs on two hits.
Florida had to come from a 2-0 deficit
after three innings to take the game 7-2. Though they were slower to get
started in game two, the Gator bats got hot in late innings as Florida tallied 12 hits
in the game
Gators found themselves down 2-0 after the bottom of the third. Courtney Bures drew a leadoff walk from Florida
freshman Stephanie Brombacher
(Pembroke Pines, Fla.). With one out, Hayle
Guess laid down a bunt single, moving Bures to
second. With two outs, a Gator throwing error on Jessie Spainís at bat allowed
both runners to score for the 2-0 Bulldog lead. Florida
got the third out of the inning in the same play though, throwing out Spain as she
attempted to move to second.
straight outs for the Gator offense, Paculba grabbed
the Gatorsí first hit of the game with a double to left. A base hit up the
middle by Gardiner put the Gators on the board and reduced Mississippi Stateís
lead to one run.
leadoff hit by Gina McCloud in the bottom of the fourth, Nelson came in to
replace Brombacher in the circle for the Gators. The
Gator defense took over as Ali Bainbridge popped up to Bush at short and Bush
and Nelson connected to retire Brittany Bell, who was running for McCloud, on a
fielderís choice play. Chelsea Bramlett was called
out for leaving early on a steal attempts to end the inning.
runs in the top of the sixth gave Florida
the one-run lead. With one out, Paculba knocked a bas
hit through the left side for her second hit of the game. She was out at second
on a fielderís choice that found Gardiner safe at first. Enea
hit a double off the wall in left center to put two Gators in scoring position
for Ratliff. Ratliff ripped a two-RBI base hit up the middle to give the Gators
the lead. Bush added another base hit, forcing the Bulldogs to bring in Woolven to relieve starter Kelsey Nurnberg. Woolven walked pinch hitting freshman Tiffany DeFelice (Coral
Springs, Fla.), but forced junior Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.)
into a fielderís choice for the third out of the inning.
Florida added to its lead with four runs
in their final turn at bat. Sophomore Corrie Brooks
led off the final inning with a double to right field. She moved to third on a
sacrifice bunt by Waleszonia. A base hit up the
middle by Paculba scored Brooks. Gardiner drew a walk
from Woolven that prompted Mississippi State
to bring in Flesher. Paculba was thrown out
attempting to steal third, but Gardiner was safe at third leaving her in
scoring position for Enea. Enea
took Flesher to a full count before knocking her second home run of the day and
10th of the season out of left center for the 6-2 lead. Ratliff continued the
Gator rally with a base hit up the middle. Bush added a double to left, leaving
runners on first and third for junior Kristina
was credited with the final RBI of the game as she knocked in Ratliff with a
base hit up the middle for the final 7-2 score.
was the 75th of Nelsonís career and moved her record to 27-2 on the season. She
gave up only one hit and a walk while striking out four Bulldogs through four
innings. Brombacher threw three innings, giving up
six hits and two runs, neither of which were earned.
Nurnberg took the loss for Mississippi
State, giving up six hits
and the first three Gator runs. She is now 15-6 on the year.
Florida and Mississippi
State will play the final
game of the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Fans wanting to listen to the game
can tune into Mississippi
Stateís broadcast at www.wmsv.msstate.edu.