Sunday February 14, 2010No. 3/5 Softball Downs USF, 12-8
The No. 3/5 University of Florida softball team defeated USF, 12-8, in a high-scoring, three-hour contest on the second day USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The Gators collected 12 hits with four notching two apiece, including senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.), who recorded a team-high four RBIs with a double and a home run.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) got her first win of the season, striking out 10. The righty (1-1) earned the win for the Gators (2-1, 0-0 SEC) while throwing over 150 pitches. She allowed 11 hits and walked five. Kristen Gordon (0-1) shouldered the loss for the Bulls (1-2, 0-0 BIG EAST), giving up three runs, one hit and two walks. Brittany Bowles pitched the majority of innings for USF, going 4.0 innings, allowing seven Gators hits, five runs, three earned, three walks and striking out four.
It didn’t take long for the Gators to get on the board, scoring three runs in their first at bat. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) and freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) drew walks to start the game and Enea lifted a three-run jack over the left-field fence for her second homer in two days. That chased pitcher Kristen Gordon from the game, as she was replaced by Bowles. Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) and senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) recorded one-out singles while junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) walked to load the bases, but UF was unable to cross the plate again in the first.
Brombacher started the game strong with a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, getting two Bulls looking. Florida added two more in the second, as Schutte reached on a fielding error by the third baseman, who could not field the right fielder’s hard-hit grounder cleanly. Enea drove her teammate in on a double to center. She crossed the plate herself after moving to third on a passed ball and then junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) brought her home on a grounder to short.
The Gators added two more to their lead in the third, putting them up 7-0. Bush drew a four-pitch, one-out walk and then sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville , Fla.) laid down a perfect bunt and used her speed to reach first before the throw. Freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) was called out after the third-base umpire said she went around on the appeal on a full count, but Bush and Moultrie were already standing on second and third. Paculba singled to right field and Lauren Rodriguez kicked it to advance Paculba to second. Meanwhile, Bush and Moultrie had scored the Gators’ sixth and seventh runs. Schutte knocked a single to center, but Paculba was thrown out at the plate, trying to score from second to end the inning.
In the fourth, the Gators added another run when DeFelice walked on a full count and Brooks drove her in on a double to right field. In the fifth, the Bulls brought in their third pitcher of the game, Candace Howell, whom Walker smoked a ground ball down the left-field line, but was thrown out trying to steal second.
Trailing by eight, USF cut the Florida lead to three in the bottom of the fifth. Alexis Nowell led off the inning with a single to second and Kelly McCarver followed with a grounder short. Walker threw to second to get the lead runner. Janine Richardson singled to left and Tara Toscano walked to load the bases. JoJo Medina drew a walk from Brombacher to bring in USF’s first run of the game. Alison Savarese hit her first career grand slam to left field to cut the lead to 8-5.
The Gators fired back with three runs in sixth. Enea drew a walk and sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run. Bruder hit a blooper over the shortstop’s head and DeFelice laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move both base runners into scoring position. Brooks brought Heil in a grounder as the second baseman threw home and Heil beat play at the plate. Bush then hit a long sac fly to center to bring Bruder home. Moultrie singled to center to score Brooks, who had been hustling around third, giving the Gators the 11-5 advantage.
The Bulls were also not done scoring, knocking in three in the bottom of the inning. McCarver knocked a one-out single to left field after Brombacher struck out the first batter of the inning. Toscano singled to left after another Brombacher K. Medina doubled to center to score both of her teammates. Savarese singled to short, moving Medina to third and Stormi Grzybek drove her in on a single past the diving shortstop Bush to score Medina.
Holding onto an 11-8 lead, the Gators added one more in the top of the seventh. Schutte drew a one-out walk to get on board. Enea grounded out to move her teammate into scoring position and Bruder singled up the middle to bring Schutte across the plate. Gordon returned to the pitching circle to finish out the game. She forced DeFelice to ground out to give the Bulls one more chance.
Pinch hitter Gina Kafalas drew a full-count walk off to start the inning. Brombacher fired back, getting pinch hitter Laura Fountain swinging. McCarver was next, as she went down looking. Richardson ended the game on a ground out to second, giving the Gators the 12-8 win.