of the bat from sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland
Hills, Calif.) in the
sixth inning would be all it would take for the No. 1 Florida Softball team
(60-2) to advance to the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals, as the
Gators defeated Ole Miss (26-28), 1-0.
teams were tied 0-0 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Enea took a 1-1 count out of the park just grazing the
fence in center field for the 1-0 Gator lead. The home run was Enea’s 14th of the season.
The Florida defense took
care of business in the top of the seventh. Amber Tramp was hit by a pitch to
lead off the inning. Junior reliever Stacey
Nelson (Los Alamitos,
Calif.) struck out the following batter and
forced Michelle May to line into an unassisted double play to junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.)
to end the game.
Freshman Stephanie Brombacher
(Pembroke Pines, Fla.) pitched six innings, giving up only
two hits and allowing only three runners on base to improve to 19-0 on the
season. She struck out three Rebel batters. Nelson pitched the final inning to
earn her fifth save of the year. Becky Nye took the loss for Ole Miss to end
her season with a 12-11 record.
Florida got the first hits of the game as
Gardiner and Enea both lifted two-out hits in the
bottom of the first. Gardiner dropped a base hit in right field, right next to
the right foul line. Enea fouled off five pitches on
a 1-2 count before ripping a base hit up the middle. Alise
Doubt made a great diving catch for Ole Miss in left field to put out Bush and
end the inning.
Gators added a third two-out hit in the bottom of the second as junior Kristina Hilberth
slapped a base hit through the left side.
got its first runner on base in the top of the third as Brombacher
walked Lauren Rowe to lead off the inning. Rowe stole second, but did not get
any further as the Gator defense retired the next three batters.
Florida added a hit in the bottom of the
fourth. With one out, freshman Megan
Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) knocked a base hit through the left
side, giving the Gators their best chance of the day to plate a run. Junior Danyell Hines (Bryan, Texas)
came in to pinch run for her, but was caught stealing for the second out of the
Rebels broke up Brombacher’s no hitter with one out
in the top of the fifth as May hit a deep infield single and just beat out
Bush’s throw to first.
earned her second hit of the day as she dropped a bunt right in front of the
pitcher’s circle and beat out the throw to first with one out. She wouldn’t get
any further though as the next two batters were put out on a strikeout and a
ground out to end the inning.
the first pitch offered her by Brombacher to left
field for the Rebels second hit of the game. The Gators retired Doubt advancing
to third on a fielder’s choice play for Lauren Grill’s at bat. Grill moved to
third on a sacrifice bunt by Alyssa McGovern for the second out of the inning.
The threat was ended as Lisa Conchos popped up to Hilberth
in foul territory.
Florida advances to the semifinals to face fourth-seeded Tennessee (47-13), who defeated fifth-seeded Georgia
(43-22), 5-2 in the first game of the tournament. Friday night’s first pitch is
set for 6 p.m. ET. The game will air live on WRUF AM 850 in Gainesville and on the web at www.WRUF.com and www.GatorZone.com. Live video and live
stats are available on LSU’s website at