Saturday February 13, 2010Softball Wins 2010 Opener, 4-3, Over East Carolina
The No. 3/5 University of Florida softball team defeated East Carolina, 4-3, fueled by three home runs by the heart of the lineup. Freshman starter Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) earned her first career win in the Orange and Blue, striking out seven in her debut.
Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) led the way for the Gators (1-0, 0-0 SEC) in the box score, going 2-for-3 with her first bomb of the season. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) also connected for long balls for UF.
Faith Sutton shouldered the loss for East Carolina (0-1) in the Pirates’ first game of the season.
Gammel started her Gator career with a four-pitch walk. Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) showed her throwing arm off early, gunning down Charina Sumner as she tried to swipe second. Gammel quickly settle down, forcing her second batter to ground out to third. After walking the next at bat, she got the final out of the inning swinging.
The Gators went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, but Gammel kept the Pirates off the board in the top of the second. Bruder put the Gators on the board with her 18th career home run, nailing one over the right-field fence to lead off the inning.
Gammel recorded her first 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third. Enea added two more to the Gator lead in the bottom of the inning when she nailed the 42nd homer of her career. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) drew a one-out, four-pitch walk and sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville , Fla.) moved her into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Enea then launched one over the center field fence as she upped the Florida career record.
The Pirates got on the board in the fourth as Miranda Gusman-Brown recorded the first hit of the game for ECU, knocking one through the left side. She moved up to second a wild pitch. Gammel walked the next batter and then Christen Aona grounded the first pitch of her at bat to first base. Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) fired to third to get the lead runner, but Gusman-Brown was called safe in a close play. Kai Clark bounced one to short, which freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) was able to handled for the force out at second, allowing Gusman-Brown to score. Gammel got the next batter swinging to keep the damage to one run.
In the bottom of the fourth, Schutte recorded her first career home run as a Gator with a full-count bomb to center field to lead off the inning, giving UF a 4-1 lead.
East Carolina cut the lead to one in the top of the fifth as Gusman-Brown doubled to deep left field with runners on first and second. With two down, both on swinging Ks, Sumner singled through the left side and Christina Merrida followed with a bunt single laid down right in front of the plate. With two outs, Gusman-Brown smoked her double to left, moving the Pirates within one of the Gators. Gammel forced a groundout to end the inning.
With two outs in the top of the six and a runner on first due to a single to center, freshman Erin Schuppert (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) replaced Gammel. In her first career start, Gammel allowed five hits, three earned runs and four walks in 5.2 innings while striking out seven. Schuppert got her only batter of the inning to pop out to end the inning. She closed out the game with a 1-2-3 top of the seventh to record her first career save.