Sunday April 26, 2009Softball's Nelson Pitches No-Hitter as Gators Shut Out Arkansas, 6-0
Senior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) had a career day as No. 1/1 University of Florida completed a sweep of Arkansas (25-24, 10-14 SEC) for its 15 consecutive win. Nelson tossed her second career no-hitter and recorded her 1,000 career strikeout as the Gators (49-3, 26-1 SEC) once again shut out the Razorbacks, 6-0, Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Sophomore Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) broke Florida’s single-season stolen base record with her 25 swipe of the year. The previous record was held by senior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.), who stole 24 bases in 2008 and 2007. Waleszonia tallied her first bunt single in the game in the second inning since returning from a February knee injury.
Nelson struck out eight in her 30th win of the season. The righty has pitched 47.2 scoreless innings of the work in her last 11 appearances. Kim Jones (7-10) tallied the loss, allowing 11 hits and walking seven. She struck out two Gators.
Paculba started the scoring off in the first inning for the Gators, hustling from second on a single to left field off the bat of senior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.).
The Gator scoring continued in the third when sophomore Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) lifted a two run home run to center to give UF a 3-0 lead. Bruder was a perfect 2-for-2 in the game with two walks and two runs scored.
Arkansas finally broke up Nelson’s perfect game in the top of the fourth inning when Tori Mort drew a two-out walk and Kayla Johnson reached base on a fielder’s choice. Nelson had retired the first nine batters of the game, including ringing up five. Despite the speed bump, Nelson worked out of the trouble forcing the next batter to pop out for the third out of the inning.
In the bottom of the frame the Gators would strike again. Waleszonia walked and was pinch run for by freshman Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), who immediately stole second. After Moultrie moved to third on a Paculba single she scored on senior Kristina Hilberth’s (Dunedin, Fla.) RBI groundout to first.
After another one-two-three inning in the fifth by Nelson, Bruder drew a walk and moved to second on a Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif) single. After Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) advanced Bruder to third, the outfielder scored on an infield single by Moultrie.
The Gators finished off the scoring in the bottom of the six when junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) drove Paculba in on a grounder to short to make the final score, 6-0.
Florida finished off its Southeastern Conference schedule 26-1. UF went 13-1 at home and a perfect 13-0 on the road.
The Gators have a week of rest before they take the diamond again to face Longwood in a three-game home stand, when they will honor their seven seniors. The May 2nd doubleheader will begin at 3 p.m.