by a career-high four RBI by freshmen Megan
Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) in game one and home runs by three different in
game two, the No. 3 Florida softball team (50-2, 20-1 SEC) took the first two
games of a three-game series with Kentucky (16-30, 3-18 SEC) Saturday afternoon
at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The Gators defeated the Wildcats 8-0 and 6-5.
one ended in the fifth inning by the eight-run rule as Florida exploded for six runs in the
first. Bush led the Gators with a
2-for-3 performance, including a three-run home run. Sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
also had two hits, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Junior Ali
N.Y.) and sophomore Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.)
also knocked in a run. The game marked only the second time all season the
Gators scored six runs in the first frame.
one saw junior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
pick up her 32nd win of the season. The right-hander improved to 32-2 on the
season, retiring ten straight to end the game after giving up Kentucky’s only hit in the second. Jennifer
Young picked up the loss for Kentucky,
falling to 3-13 on the year.
Gators wasted no time getting on the board in the first, scoring six runs on four
hits and an error. Lead-off batter junior Kim
Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) walked to start the inning. Freshmen
Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.)
stepped up to the plate next and lined a single to left. The left-fielder
misplayed the ball, allowing Paculba to advance to third and Waleszonia to
score to make it 1-0 in favor of the Gators. Gardiner came up next and traded
places with Paculba, extending her hitting streak to ten by drilling a triple
to right that saw Paculba cross the plate, upping the score to 2-0. Gardiner
made it 3-0 when she ran home after a double to left by Enea. After Enea
advanced to third on a groundout by senior Mary
Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.), freshmen Tiffany DeFelice (Coral
walked. The first-inning barrage would conclude when Bush powered a towering
three-run homer over the left field fence to give the Gators a 6-0 lead.
Florida would score again in the
fifth with a two-out rally. DeFelice collected her
second walk of the game to start the rally. After pinch-runner junior Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) stole second, Bush doubled to left to
make the score 7-0 in favor of the Orange and Blue. Brooks stepped up to the
plate next and knocked in pinch-runner freshmen Ami Austin (Ormond Beach,
Fla.) to end the game with a final score of 8-0.
Florida continued its momentum by picking up its 50th victory
of the season with a 6-5 win in the second game, thanks in part to three home
runs by Florida’s
hitters. Brooks led the Gators in game
two with a 3-for-3 performance that saw the sophomore hit a home run, knock in
two and cross the plate twice. Paculba also acquired three hits, going 3-for-4
with a home run, two RBI and a run scored. Bush picked up where she left off in
game one with a 1-for-3 performance that saw her collect her tenth home run of
hurler Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) upped her record to a perfect 16-0. Brombacher and the Gators defense sat down the first nine
batters in order. Brombacher did not give up her
first hit until the fourth. After four runs in the sixth inning, Nelson
replaced Brombacher and retired the last
five batters to record her fourth save of the season and secure a Gator
The Orange and Blue would open up the scoring in
the second game with a three-run second inning. With two outs and nobody on,
Bush once again punched a home run to left, this time clearing the trees to
give the Gators a 1-0 lead. Junior Kristina
Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.)
singled to left to keep the inning going. Brooks followed with a home run
to left for her first dinger of the season to make it 3-0 Gators.
The Gators continued to put
runs on the board in the third, when Paculba connected on a 2-2 pitch for a home
run shot over the scoreboard in left to put the Gators up by four. The Gators
would load the bases with singles by Enea and Ratliff and a walk by DeFelice,
but failed to score before the inning was over with.
Kentucky would capture its first run of the day in game two
after Natalie Smith singled to start the top of the fourth. Molly Johnson
doubled to right to make it 4-1 Florida.
Florida would get the run back and add another in the bottom
of the fourth frame when Brooks led-off with a single to center. Waleszonia
reached first after an error by the second baseman, and Brooks advanced to
third. Paculba singled to left, knocking in Brooks to make it 5-1 Gators. After Gardiner walked to load the bases with
no outs, Enea hit a sacrifice fly to left, driving in Waleszonia to put the
Gators up by a score of 6-1.
The Wildcats would claw back
into the game in the sixth with four runs on four hits. Audrey Meyer drew a
walk with one out and advanced to third on a double by Megan Yocke. Both runners scored when Smith doubled down the
right field line to cut the Gators lead to 6-3. Johnson knocked in Smith with a
double to left. Kentucky
narrowed the lead to one on a Meagan Aull single up
the middle to score Johnson and give the Wildcats its last run of the day.
The Gators return to action
tomorrow at 1 p.m. to conclude its three-games series
with the Wildcats. The first 500 fans will receive Gator Softball’s courtesy of
Dodge. The players will be available on the concourse after the game for an