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Hilberth went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.

Saturday February 28, 2009No. 2 Softball Overpowers Illinois, 9-1, in Six Innings

Gainesville, Fla.

Hilberth went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.

Lead by senior Ali Gardiner’s (Waccabuc, N.Y.) three hits, the second-ranked University of Florida defeated Illinois, 9-1, in six innings in front of a maximum-capacity crowd at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.  


Gardiner went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while senior Kristina Hilberth (Dundein, Fla.) and junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) went 2-for-3 tallying three combines RBI.  Senior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) recorded her eighth win while striking out six and not allowing a walk.  The Gators (16-2, 0-0 SEC) stole a season-high six bases. 


The Gators didn’t waste anytime scoring, recording a run in the top of the first.  With one out, senior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) walked, which was followed by a Gardiner single to move the speedy center fielder to third.  Enea then walked on four pitches to load the bases.  Sophomore Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) hit a high foul ball down the right-field line to record her second sacrifice fly on the season, scoring Waleszonia.


Florida added to more to its total the next time up.  Freshman Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled to right field to extend her hitting streak to four games.  Hilberth then singled through the left side, moving Moultrie to second.  A double steal and a throwing error by the catcher scored both Moultrie and Hilberth. 


With the 3-0 advantage heading into the third, the Gators increased their lead yet again.  Gardiner singled back to the pitcher.  Senior Danyell Hines (Bryan, Texas) came in to pinch run and hustled her way to third on Enea’s single to right field.  Senior Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) came in to pinch run for Enea at first.  Bruder recorded her second sacrifice fly of the night, scoring Hines and moving Johnson to second.  Johnson then took third and headed home on another throwing error by the catcher, scoring UF’s fifth run. 


Illinois scored its only run in the bottom of the fourth as the Illini tried to get back into the game.  Jamie Adishian reached first on a fielding error by Gardiner, which was followed by Hope Howell’s single back to Nelson.  Hollie Pinchback reached on a fielder’s choice as she grounded out to third baseman junior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.), who stepped on the bag to Adishian.  Lana Armstrong also grounded out to third, but moved her teammates into scoring position.  Meredith Hackett singled to score Howell, but Bruder threw Pinchback out at the plate for her fourth assist of the season.


The Gators added four runs in the top of the sixth, sealing the game.  Sophomore Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) doubled to deep center field to start things off.  Sophomore Ami Austin (Ormond Beach, Fla.) came in to pinch run and moved to third on Moultrie’s grounder to first. Hilberth hit a bloop single over the shortstop to score Austin and record her 12th RBI of the season.  After Hilberth swiped second, sophomore Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) drew a walk and Waleszonia singled to center.  Hilberth tried to score from second, but was thrown out at the plate.  Gardiner made up for it with a double to score Paculba.  Enea finished off the inning with a double to left field to score Waleszonia and Gardiner. 





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