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Moultrie went 2-for-2 as a pinch hitter with a home run and a double.

Wednesday April 1, 2009No. 1 Softball Sweeps Auburn as Nelson Records 20th Win

Auburn, Ala.

Moultrie went 2-for-2 as a pinch hitter with a home run and a double.

Three home runs lifted the No. 1/1 University of Florida over Auburn in the Wednesday doubleheader, winning 3-0 and 7-1. Junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) smoked a grand slam in game two to lead the Gators (36-3, 15-1 SEC), as senior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) picked up her 20th win, taking two from the Tigers (25-12, 5-6 SEC).

 

In game one, Nelson (19-3) recorded nine strikeouts and did not allow a walk in her 11th shutout of the season. The righty, who allowed only two hits, tallied her 115th career win, moving into the 18th spot in the NCAA record book. Anna Thompson (12-7) took the loss, walking four and striking out four.

 

Nelson began the game retiring the first 10 batters she faced. In the first inning, she threw just five pitches to the Tigers.

 

Senior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) put the Gators on the scoreboard in the top of the third with a two-run shot over the left-field wall. Sophomore Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) hit a single down the right-field line with two outs. Gardiner drove her in, clearing the 12-foot wall for her fourth home run of the season.

 

Pinch hitter freshman Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) added to the Gator lead in the top of the seventh with a bomb over the center-field fence. It marked her second homer of the season, but the first time the speedster hit the ball out of the park, as she recorded an inside-the-park home run again UNLV on Feb. 21.

 

Nelson ended the game the same way she has started it, retiring the final six batters, three on Ks.

 

Game two began as a pitching duel between sophomore Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Jenee Loree. The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when the Gators struck first.

 

Sophomore Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) broke the scoreless tie when she nailed a two-out double to center field. Junior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) came around to score after hitting a double of her own, give UF a 1-0 lead.

 

Lindsey Harrelson tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a lead-off home run to left field. It marked only the second long ball Brombacher gave up this season. After allowing a single and a walk with no outs, head coach Tim Walton brought in Nelson in relief. Elizabeth Eisterhold laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both her teammates into scoring position. Nelson got the next two Tigers swinging to get the Gators out of the jam.

 

Sophomore Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) nailed a one-out single through the left side to get things started in the fifth. The second baseman took second and hustled to third on a throwing error by the Auburn catcher. Sophomore Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.), who started both games for the first time since an injury kept her out of the starting lineup for 11 games, drew a walk to put Gators on the corners. Senior Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) came in to pinch run and immediately stole second to move into scoring position. Gardiner drew a walk to load the bases for Enea. The left fielder launched her third grand slam over the scoreboard in left center to give the Gators a 5-1 lead.

 

The Gators added two runs to their lead in the sixth. Moultrie nailed a two-out double to left field for her second pinch hit of the night. She used her speed to swipe third. After drawing a walk, Paculba took second for her 20th stolen base of the season. DeFelice reentered and smoked one down the left line to score both base runners, giving UF a 7-1 advantage.

 

In game two, Nelson allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three in 4.0 innings. Brombacher allowed two hits, two walks and one earned run and struck out three in her three innings of work. The Gators turned two double plays in the evening, one in each game.

 

Loree (10-4) gave up eight hits and three walks while striking out three in her seven innings.

 

The Gators host Mississippi State for a three-game series beginning on Saturday, April 4 with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Both teams have racked up 17 wins in the all-time series.

 

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