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Wednesday February 17, 2010No. 3/9 Softball Defeats Jacksonville, 6-1, in Home Opener

Gainesville, Fla.

Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) led the No. 3/9 University of Florida softball team to a 6-1 victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins in the Gators' first home contest of the 2010 season. DeFelice went 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs while tallying Florida's eighth and ninth bombs of the young season.

 

Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earned the win for the Gators (4-1, 0-0 SEC) by only allowing two hits, one run and striking out a season-high nine. The righty (3-1) started the game by striking out the side to keep the Dolphins off the board, their only run not coming until the third inning.

 

Ashley Iveson (1-1) shouldered the loss for the Dolphins (4-1, 0-0 A-Sun), going 2.1 innings and giving up five hits, four runs, one walk and striking out three. 

 

The Gators' first hit of the season at Katie Pressley Seashole Stadium came in the bottom on the second in the form of a bomb by DeFelice off the left-field foul pole. Her first home run of the season also brought home junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.), who walked to reach first.

 

JU's Katarina Enlger was able to put her team on the board in the third, cutting the Gators' lead to one.    Enlger reached on a fielder's choice and stole second to move into scoring position. Kayla Ouellet advanced her to third on a groundout and Katie Kelly drove her teammate in on a single through the left side.  Kelly ended her team's hopes of tying the game when she was called out on interference running to second on the next play.

 

Freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) started off the bottom of the third with a hustle play, a she hit a high pop-up and sped around the bases to get to second. After senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) was thrown a wild pitch, Schutte moved up to third. Enea singled through the left side, scoring Schutte. Bruder was up next and smoked a double to left field to score Enea and give Florida a 4-1 lead. That chased pitcher Iverson from the game and was replaced by Sarah Sigrest.

 

DeFelice opened up the fourth with her second homer of the game, this one bouncing off of the scoreboard. The last time a Florida player hit two home runs in a game was on April 19, 2009 when Ali Gardiner slammed two over the fence against LSU in Baton Rouge.

 

After Brombacher did not allow a base runner in the top of the sixth, DeFelice completed her perfect night with a hard-hit single to the shortstop, beating the long throw to the first-base bag.   Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run for her teammate and hustled to steal second and then advanced to third after a sacrifice bunt by classmate Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.). Freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) hit a sacrifice fly to score Heil, her first career RBI, giving the Gators the 6-1 advantage.

 

Brombacher finished out the game strong with another 1-2-3 inning.  She got the first batter swinging, forced the next to ground out and ended the game with another swinging K.

 

The Gators host the Lipton Invitational this weekend, with their first game being against Campbell at 3:45 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

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