Saturday May 31, 2008Softball Eliminates UCLA with 2-0 Victory
Oklahoma City, Okla. -
Francesca Enea brought in Le-Net Franklin in the 6th inning to set UF's single season RBI record (61) in UF's 2-0 win vs UCLA
The Florida Softball team (69-4) will live to see another day in the Women’s College World Series. In their second elimination game of the day, the Gators ousted UCLA with a 2-0 victory on Saturday night in Oklahoma City. Florida will now move on to face Texas A&M on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
“Obviously we didn’t get much time to enjoy the last win but we will get about 10 hours to enjoy this one a lot,” head coach Tim Walton said. “This is a huge win for our program, a huge win for our players and team, any time you go against the caliber and the name of UCLA. UCLA and the College World Series go hand-in-hand and to be able to come out on top against them in the losers’ bracket with our backs against the wall is a tremendous accomplishment for our whole team.”
Despite being out hit five to three, Florida’s hits were timely and they played excellent defense to secure the win.
Florida took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) drew a walk from UCLA pitcher Anjelica Selden. She stole second to move into scoring position and tied her own school record for stolen bases in a season with her 24th. She came around to score as junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) reached on a Selden error. Gardiner was put out trying to advance to second, but it was no matter, as the Gators had the one-run lead.
The Gators added a second run in the bottom of the sixth as they put together back-to-back hits for the first time in the game. With two outs, Gardiner drove a base hit through the right side. Junior Le-Net Franklin (Belton, Texas) came in to pinch run for her. Franklin immediately stole second to move into scoring position. The 61st RBI of the season from sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) set a new school single season RBI record and scored Franklin with a base hit down the left field line to give the Gators a two-run boost.
“I’d swung and missed on my first pitch (in the sixth-inning at bat) and struck out my previous two at bats,” Enea said. “I said to myself, ‘Really Francesca, are you going to do this again?’ And she just laid one out there for me. I was just aggressive enough to hit it and I felt really good.”
The game opened with a base hit through the left side by Katie Schroeder. She was put out at second on a fielder’s choice play that found Krista Colburn safe at first. Amanda Kamekona added a second base hit through the left side. Both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball. The Gator defense took care of business with a ground out to first and a Nelson strikeout to end the inning unscathed.
Freshman Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) led off the second with a walk on four straight balls. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.). Selden sat the next two batters down on strikes to end the inning.
The top of the third brought two more UCLA hits. Ashley Herrera led off the inning with a base hit up the middle. With one out, Colburn reached on a fielder’s choice as Herrera was put out at second. Kamekona’s second base hit of the game put two runners on with two outs, but Nelson sat down Langenfeld on strikes, ending the half inning.
DeFelice got Florida’s first hit of the game as she ripped a base hit through the left side with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.
Florida junior hurler Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos , Calif.) moved to 47-4 on the season with the win. She struck out five Bruin batters, while walking one and scattering five hits in the second shutout on the day. UCLA’s Selden finishes the season with a 29-5 record. In her final outing of the season, she gave up three hits and walked two Gator batters, while striking out nine. Only one of the two runs she gave up was earned.
“Coming into the second game I knew what I had to do, to just go out and pitch,” Nelson said. “I looked up at the scoreboard in the sixth and I was just taken back. I was like, ‘Whoa, it’s the sixth inning.’ And I just couldn’t believe it. It went by really quick and it didn’t feel like six innings.”
Florida will face Texas A&M to determine who will go to the championship series on Sunday. If Florida wins the first game, it will force a second game. Florida and Texas A&M last played in the Super Regional in College Station last season.