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Sunday April 20, 2008Softball Sets Season Wins and Runs Records

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida Softball team defeated Kentucky on Sunday afternoon to win its 51st game of the year, setting the new school record for wins in a season. Florida (51-2, 21-1 SEC) shutout the Wildcats (16-31, 3-19 SEC), 8-0, for the second time on the weekend.


The Gators were led by a four-RBI performance by junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) and a complete-game one-hit shutout by junior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.).

Offensively, Gardiner finished the day going 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and her team-leading four RBI. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) was responsible for getting the offense started, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Freshmen Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) was the only Gator perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2 with an RBI. Freshman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) scored twice on the day, with only one at bat, as she was walked in three consecutive plate appearances.


Nelson once again dominated from the circle, going all five innings and improving to 33-2 on the year. The right-hander pitched 3.2 hitless innings and was aided by the errorless Gator defense. Kentucky pitcher Amber Matousek took the loss, though she gave up only one earned run on the day, and fell to 10-16 on the year.


Waleszonia kick-started a scoreless game in the third by leading off the bottom of the inning with a hard hit liner to left. Paculba batted next and took her first of three walks on the day to put two runners on with no outs for Gardiner. Gardiner stepped up to the plate and dropped a hit just past the shortstop to score Waleszonia and give the Gators their first lead of the day. The run, which was the Gatorís 313th of the season, broke the previous school record of 312 set by the 2000 squad for runs in a season. Paculba and Gardiner advanced to second and third on a Kentucky error after Kentuckyís shortstop caught a pop up by sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.). The Gators concluded their third inning scoring when with two outs and a full count, DeFelice cleared the bases with a two-RBI double that made the score 3-0 in favor of the Orange and Blue.


DeFeliceís next plate appearance would start the Gator offense in the fifth. The freshmen designated player walked with one-out, and was replaced by pinch-runner Le-Net Franklin (Belton, Texas). After Franklin stole second to put another Gator in scoring position, freshmen Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) deposited a fly ball to left that dropped in for a single. Sophomore Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) hit a routine pop-up to first which was dropped by the Wildcats first baseman, allowing Franklin to score and knocking Bush over to third to make the score 4-0 Gators. Bush would then make it 5-0, scoring on a sharply hit liner to left by Waleszonia. With Brooks on second and Waleszonia on first, Paculba took her final walk of the day to load the bases. That allowed Gardiner to hit a bases-clearing stand-up triple to make it 8-0 and end the game via the eight-run rule.


Florida returns to action on Tuesday as it faces Jacksonville in doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.

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