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Friday February 19, 2010No. 3/9 Softball Defeats Kansas, 12-4, in Six Innings

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 3/9 University of Florida defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, 12-4, in the Gators’ second game on the evening on Friday at Katie Seashole Pressy Stadium.  Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) went 4-for-4, tying a career-high with five RBIs as seven Gators tallied 14 hits.   


Freshman Erin Schuppert (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) earned her first career win, pitching four innings of relief while striking out seven and allowing only two runs and four hits.   The Gators (6-1, 0-0 SEC) scored at least one run in every inning in their second win of the 2010 Lipton Invitational.  Sarah Vertelka (0-2) shouldered the loss for the Jayhawks (2-5, 0-0 Big 12), allowing 12 runs, 10 earned, walking five and striking out one.


Freshman starter Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) gave up one base hit in the first inning, but struck out two batters to keep the Jayhawks off the board.


Paculba started the game with a double and freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif) knocked an infield single behind the third-base bag to load the bases.  Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) reached first base on an error, which also allowed Paculba to score and give the Gators their first run of the game.  Their second came minutes later when senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) grounded out to first to score Schutte.  Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) drew a walk to reload the bases and classmate Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) hit a grounder to shortstop Sara Ramirez, who got Enea out on the force at the plate.  Vertelka was able to get out of the jam on as sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) grounded out.


The Jayhawks were able to tie the game in the second inning as Brittany Hile reached first on a fielding error by freshman shortstop Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas). Amanda Jobe laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Hile to second and she advanced to third on a passed ball.  Mariah Montgomery drew a walk and Hile scored on a wild pitch, while Montgomery moved into scoring position.  Gammel issued her second consecutive walk to Marissa Ingle, who then moved to second and Montgomery to third on a slap single by Rosie Hull.  Alex Jones hit one to second baseman Paculba, who fired to catcher Schutte for the out at home, preserving the Gators’ one-run lead, yet the next batter, Maggie Hull, earned a walk off Gammel to bring in the tying run.   The UF pitcher forced Ramirez to ground out and keep the game knotted at two.


In the third, Walker started things off with an infield single and then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Paculba recorded her second hit of the night, this time an RBI single to right, sending Walker home to give Florida the 3-2 advantage.


Schuppert relieved Gammel in the third and struck out two consecutive batters, the first batter in three pitches.  She ended the inning with a fly ball to left field.


The Gators brought the offense in the third, tallying four runs. Bush singled and advanced to second when DeFelice drew a walk. Moultrie used her speed to bunt for a single, loading the bases. Walker tallied her second single, her first multi-hit game as a Gator, with one through the left side to score Bush and then Paculba followed with a sacrifice fly to score DeFelice. As Schutte took a strike, Moultrie and Walker advanced on a double steal. Schutte then hit a sacrifice fly to score Moultrie and an error allowed Enea to reach first and Walker to score, giving the Gators a 7-2 lead.


Schuppert gave up her first run in a Gator uniform in the top of the fourth.  With two down and a runner on first, Maggie Hull doubled to center, scoring her twin sister, Rosie, who reached on a single to short.


Bush got it back though.  With two down in the bottom of the inning, she hit her third home run of the night.  She belted two in the 7-0 win over Campbell the game before.  It was the 32nd of the career, one shy of tying for third in UF record books.                                        


The Gators added two more in the fifth.  Walker began the inning by reaching first on a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. She then crossed the plate when Paculba sent a single up the middle.  The junior advanced to second on the throw and moved to third on Schutte’s single through the right side.  Enea earned her RBI when she grounded out to the shortstop, bringing Paculba in and giving the Gators a 10-3 lead.


Schuppert gave up one more run in the sixth.  The first two batters hit singles back at the righty and she loaded the bases by hitting Maggie Hull.  Ramirez drew a walk to bring one runner in and make the score 10-4.   Schuppert settled down and got the next two batters on Ks before forcing Jobe to ground out to Paculba to end the inning. 


The Gators ended the game in the sixth, getting two more runs and cashing in on the eight-run rule.  Brooks singled to left to start things off but was thrown out at second when Bush grounded to third and KU got the lead runner. With two outs on the board, Moultrie laid down the perfect bunt and used her speed to reach first, sending Bush to second. Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run for Bush and Walker earned a walk to put runners on first and second. Paculba smoked a single through the right side, scoring Heil and Moultrie and giving the Gators the 12-4 win.


The Gators return to action in the Lipton Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 20 when they face Marshall at 12:15 p.m. and East Carolina at 2:30 p.m.


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