Wednesday February 25, 2009No. 2 Softball Blanks No. 6 Michigan, 4-0
DeFelice hit a two-run single to put the Gators on the board in the first.
No. 2/2 University of Florida shut out No. 6/6 Michigan, 4-0, Wednesday evening in front of a crowd over 1,000 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Senior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos , Calif.) earned her sixth win while striking out nine in the contest.
The Gators (13-2, 0-0 SEC) tallied seven hits off the Wolverine (12-4, 0-0 Big Ten) pitching staff. Nikki Nemitz (7-2) took the loss, pitching 1.1 innings and giving up all four earned runs.
Florida scored first, tallying two runs in its first at bat. Sophomore Aja Pacubla (Wildomar, Calif.) started things off with a hit to shallow right field. She moved to second when senior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) drew a one-out walk. Junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) reached on a blooper that fell just out of reach of Michigan’s diving right fielder. Although Gardiner was thrown out at second, Paculba advanced to third. Enea then stole her first base of the season to put herself in scoring position. Sophomore Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) knocked one over the shortstop’s out-stretched glove to score two and tally her second and third RBI of the season.
The Gators add two more to their total in the second. Junior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) nailed a single through the right side for her first hit of the game. Senior Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) followed up with a single of her own to the shortstop. With runners on first and second, Michigan went to its bullpen to bring sophomore Jordan Taylor. Paculba grounded to the third baseman, but Brooks beat the tag and the bases were loaded with Gators. Senior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) came through with a two-run single to center to give UF a 4-0 lead, which was all it would need for the win.
The Wolverines threatened in the top of the sixth. Stephanie Kirkpatrick, one of two Michigan players to have any success off Nelson, got her second single of the game when she hit a dribbler between the plate and the mound. The second baseman beat Hilberth’s throw to first and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. With Michigan’s first and only runner in scoring position, Molly Bausher hit a single to right field. Kirkpatrick tried to come around to score, but sophomore Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) quickly threw the ball to Hilberth waiting at the plate to preserve the shutout.
In the top of the seventh, Nelson struck out the side to end the game and give the Gators their 13th win and their 10th shutout of the season.
Florida hosts the Cox Invitational this coming weekend, taking on Pacific at 4 p.m. and USF at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.