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Francesca Enea set UF's single-season & career RBI records in UF's win vs. Tennessee.

Friday May 8, 2009No. 1 Softball Puts Up 11 to Defeat No. 16 Tennessee and Advance to SEC Tournament Finals

Knoxville, Tenn.

Francesca Enea set UF's single-season & career RBI records in UF's win vs. Tennessee.

Junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) broke the schoolís single-season and career RBI records as No. 1/1 University of Florida defeated No. 18/16 Tennessee, 11-3, in five innings to advance to the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship.

 

The Gators (54-3) will face No. 5/3 Alabama on Saturday in the final game.† Florida won its first-ever conference tournament title in a 4-1 victory over the Tide last season.

 

Florida belted 12 hits, including four home runs, breaking the SEC Tournament single-game home run record.† The previous record was two.† The 11-run win tied the tournament record for most runs in a single game.† South Carolina also tallied 11 in 2002.†

 

Senior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) recorded her 34th win, allowing only two hits in four innings.† Cat Hosfield (28-12) took the loss for the Lady Vols (38-16-1).

 

The Lady Vols struck first in their first at bat against sophomore Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.).† Nicole Kajitani reached first on an error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kelly Grieve and moved to third on a groundout by Tiffany Huff.† Kajitani recorded an unearned run when Spigner lined one to third for an RBI base hit.† Erinn Webb cleared the bases with a two-run double to center to give Tennessee a 3-0 lead with half an inning played.

 

It didnít take long for the Gators to take the lead.† Sophomore Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) led off with a double to center and senior Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) grounded out to second to move her teammate to third.† Senior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) launched a bomb to left to bring the Gators within one.† With two down, sophomore Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) was hit by a pitch.† Junior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) knocked a blooper to right, which got by the diving right fielder Webb allowing Bruder to score and Brooks to end up on third with her first triple of the season.† Sophomore Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) then singled to center to score Brooks and give the Gators a 4-3 lead.

 

Nelson came in to relieve Brombacher in the top of the second.† She walked three to load the bases with two outs.† She got Jen Lapicki to ground one back to the mound to end the scoring threat.†

 

Ashton Ward came in to pitch in the bottom of the inning. †With two outs, the Gators recorded back-to-back-to-back home runs to take an 8-3 lead.† Gardiner drew a walk to bring Enea to the plate.† The left fielder tied the single-season home run record with her 17th long ball to dead center field.† Her two RBI broke both the single-season and career records.† Bruder followed with a solo shot to center, her 15th, and then Brooks tallied her ninth with a bomb to left.†

 

Enea has driven in 65 runs this season, surpassing the record she set last year.† In her three years as a Gator, she has collected 151 career RBI, passing Emily Marino (1998-01), who tallied 150.††

 

Danielle Pieroni came in to take over for Ward in the third.† Sophomore Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) singled to left to start the inning.† Senior Le-Net Franklin (Belton, Texas) came in to pinch hit and moved to second when freshman Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) laid down a bunt single.† Hosfield reentered to pitch and both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.† Hilberth grounded out to short to score Franklin and give the Gators a 10-3 lead.†††††

 

Florida added another in the fourth.† Bruder walked and moved to second on another wild pitch.† Brooks then singled up the middle, moving Bruder to third and advancing to second on the throw.† With two down, Franklin grounded out to the pitcher to score Bruder and tally her third RBI of the season, all in the last three games played.†

 

Bruder ended the game in the fifth by giving the Gators an eight-run lead.† Hilberth singled up the middle but was thrown out on Gardinerís fielderís choice.† Enea drew a walk to bring Bruder to the plate.† Sophomore Ami Austin (Ormond Beach , Fla.) came in to run for Gardiner at second.† Bruder knocked her in for the winning run with a double to center.†

 

Florida will face Alabama in the championship game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 9.† Sun Sports will broadcast the finals, which will also be available on XM Radio channel 200.†

 

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