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Thursday April 17, 2008Softball Scores 20 Runs In Two Wins Over Florida State

Tallahassee, FL

The No. 3 University of Florida softball team (48-2) scored 20 runs on the way to a doubleheader sweep of instate foe Florida State (32-21). The Gators took game one 6-1, and then won game two 14-4, for the largest margin of victory by either team in the all-time series. The win was the first Gator win in Tallahassee since 2002.


The Gators scored their 20 runs on 19 hits, 11 walks, five hit batters and five Florida State errors. Sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) led the team with a 5-for-7 performance with two runs scored, two RBI, a double and a walk. Freshman Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) led the team with five RBI. Senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) scored four runs on the night to lead the team.


Florida took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) drew a lead off walk on a full count from FSU pitcher Tiffany McDonald. McDonald hit freshman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) with a pitch. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) drove a line drive back at McDonald that ricochet off her glove into right field, allowing Waleszonia to score and Paculba to advance to third. Enea ripped a shot through the left side for a double to score Paculba. With two outs, Gardiner scored the third run of the inning on a wild pitch.


Florida made the score 4-0 in the top of the second. With one out, sophomore Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) knocked a base hit up the middle. She advanced to second on a Waleszonia sacrifice bunt and Walezonia was safe at first on a Seminole error. Two passed balls allowed Brooks to score for the four-run Gator lead.


Florida State narrowed the Gator lead in the bottom half of the second. Robin Ahrberg doubled to left center. With one out, Monica Montez hit a second double down the right line to score Ahrberg for the 4-1 score.


Florida got its four-run lead back in the top of the third. Ratliff drew a lead off walk. She scored on a double to left center by DeFelice.


The final Gator run scored in the fifth. Freshman Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) reached and advanced to second on a Seminole error to lead off the inning. She moved to third on a DeFelice sacrifice. Junior Kristina Hilberth’s (Dunedin, Fla.) ground out to second scored Bush for what would be the final 6-1 win for the Gators.


Junior pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) improved to 31-2 on the year with the win. She struck out nine batters, while scattering four hits and walking three. McDonald took the loss to move to 13-8 on the year. She gave up six hits, walked six and stuck out nine Gator batters.


The Florida offense went to work in game two as they put up 14 runs in the five inning game.


Florida State took the first lead of the game in the bottom of the first. Whitney Buckmon reached on an infield base hit with one out. She stole second and advanced to third on a Gator error. She crossed the plate on a Jessica Gilmore base hit to give the Seminoles the 1-0 lead. Florida ended the inning with an unassisted double play to Gardiner at first.


Florida took the lead in the top of the second and never looked back. Enea led off with an infield single. She advanced to third on a Ratliff double up the middle. DeFelice walked to load the bases with no outs. A Bush base hit up the middle scored Enea to tie the game. Hilberth reached on a fielder’s choice as Ratliff was thrown out at the plate for the first out of the inning. The Gators took the lead on a Brooks base hit that plated DeFelice.


Gardiner led off the Gator half of the third with a base hit up the middle. Junior Danyell Hines (Bryan, Texas) came in the game to pinch run for her and stole second. With one out, Ratliff knocked a base hit up the middle, moving Hines to third. Ratliff stole second to put two runners in scoring position for DeFelice. DeFelice hit a double down the left field line for two RBI. Hilberth slapped a two-out single, putting Gator runners at first and third. She then stole second. Brooks drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Waleszonia’s double to down the left field line added to more runs, giving the Gators the 7-1 lead.


Florida State reduced the Gator lead two three runs in the bottom of the third. Carly Wynn started the Seminoles with an infield base hit. With two outs, Gilmore knocked a base hit through the left side. Brittany Osmon’s double to left center scored both runners. Then Osmon came home on Monica Montez’s base hit to left for the final Seminole run of the game.


Gardiner got the Gators started again in the fourth with a base hit up the middle. Enea singled and Melissa May came in to replace Florida State starter Terese Gober in the circle. May hit back-to-back Gator runners to load the bases and bring in a run. Enea and Ratliff both came in on May wild pitches to make the score 10-4 in favor of the Gators.


Florida added four more runs in the top of the fifth. Gober came back in the game to start the inning in the circle for Florida State. She gave up a bunt single to Waleszonia to start the inning. Junior Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) was hit by a pitch. Gardiner walked to load the bases. An Enea single scored Waleszonia. Johnson scored on a passed ball, leaving runners on second and third. Ratliff walked to load the bases again. DeFelice added another RBI to her tally as Gardiner scored on a fielder’s choice and Enea was put out at third. Bush reached on another fielder’s choice as Bush was put out at second for the second out of the inning, leaving Ratliff at third. Freshman Kristine Priebe (Moorpark, Calif.) walked to load the bases one more time. Brooks was hit by a pitch to bring in Ratliff for Florida’s 14th and final run of the game.


Freshman pitcher Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and the Gator defense put the Seminoles down in order in the home half of the fifth to end the game by the eight-run rule with the Gators winning 14-4.


Brombacher threw the complete game to improve to 15-0 on the season. She gave up eight hits and struck out five, while not giving up a walk in the game. Gober took the loss for Florida State to move to 9-10 on the year.


Florida returns to the friendly confines of Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Saturday and Sunday for a three-game series with SEC East opponent Kentucky. There will be a fun zone for children under 12 both days. Saturday is Dollar Day and hot dogs and other select concession items will cost only $1. The first 250 fans in the stadium will receive free Gator Softball key chains courtesy of GRU. The first game of the doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on SunSports.

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