Friday February 27, 2009No. 2 Softball Defeats Pacific, 10-5, to give Coach Walton 300th Career Win
Head Coach Tim Walton recorded his 300th career win as No. 2/2 University of Florida defeated Pacific, 10-5, in the Gators’ first game of the Cox Invitational on Friday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Senior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) went 1-for-3, becoming Florida’s all-time career hits leader with 261.
Sophomore Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts in her eighth win of the season. The righty is now 28-0 in her UF career. The Gators (14-2) nailed three home runs and tallied a season-high 15 hits in the victory over the Tigers (6-5). Heidi Helberg (3-2) took the loss.
Junior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) started the game in a big way, nailing a homer to left field on the first pitch of the second inning. Sophomore Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) followed Brooks’s performance with a three-run home run the following inning. Junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) hit a single up the middle to start off the third. Sophomore Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) then smoked the ball to the shortstop to put runners on first and second. Bruder nailed the long ball over the left field fence for her second home run of the season.
The Gators added one to their total in the top of the fourth. Waleszonia was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Senior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) walked to put runners on first and second. Enea singled to left field to score Waleszonia and tally her team-leading 26th RBI of the season.
The Tigers tallied five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the contest. Paige Emerson bunted her way onto first base to record Pacific’s first hit of the game. Nicole Matson followed with a bouncing single up the middle and Amanda Collier walked to load the bases. Brombacher gave up her first run of the season when Briana Santos hit a blooper between shortstop and left field. Two more singles scored two more runs to cut the Gators’ lead to two. Brombacher got the next batter swinging, but a single down the third-base line by Lindsey Pierce scored a pair to tie the game. Freshman Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) collected Pierce’s ball quickly and fired to sophomore Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) to tag Karie Wilson, who caught between second and third.
With a tie ball game, Bush stepped up to the plate in the fifth and took the first pitch for a ride to center field to regain the lead for UF. It marked her fourth homer of the season. Brombacher got back on track and kept the Gators on top with three quick strikeouts in the bottom of the inning.
The Gators broke the game open in the top of the sixth. With new pitcher Chelsea Engle on the mound, Gardiner doubled to left field start things off. Sophomore Ami Austin (Ormond Beach, Fla.) came in to pinch run. Enea continued the hitting spree with a single up the middle, moving Austin to third. DeFelice grounded out to the shortstop scoring Austin and giving the designated hitter her fourth RBI of the season. Bruder walked to put runners on the corners and Brooks singled to right to drive Enea in and move Bruder to third.
The Tigers went to their bullpen again to bring in Gabby McDaniel. Bush took the Pacific centerfielder to the wall, bringing Bruder home on Bush’s first sacrifice fly of the season. Moultrie tallied her second bunt single of the night and stole second so runners were again in scoring position. Sophomore Aja Pacubla (Wildomar, Calif.) drew a walk while Brooks scored on a fourth-ball wild pitch. Helberg reentered the game to take over for McDaniel. Moultrie was caught in a double steal trying to take home to end the four-run inning.
In the top of the seventh, Waleszonia recorded her record-breaking hit as she grounded to second base and used her speed to beat out the throw. The senior passes Ashley Boone (1998-01) to take over the number one spot in UF record books.
Brombacher recorded three straight K’s in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.