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Saturday February 20, 2010No. 3/9 Softball Hands Marshall First Loss in 8-0 Shutout

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 3/9 University of Florida shut out the previously undefeated Marshall Thundering Herd, 8-0, in five innings on Saturday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit her second home run in two days while going 1-for-2 with a stolen base and a key sacrifice bunt.

 

Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earned the win for the Gators (7-1, 0-0 SEC), throwing the complete five innings, striking out five, including four looking.  The righty (5-1) allowed five hits while walking only one.  Katie Murphree (5-1) recorded the first season loss for the Herd (7-1, 0-0 C-USA), pitching four innings and allowing six Gators hits and six earned runs.

 

The Gators started scoring early by knocking in two in the first inning. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) drew a lead-off walk to get aboard. Freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) hit Florida's first triple of the season of the left-field wall, allowing Paculba to score. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) stepped up and nailed a double to the right-field wall, driving Schutte in to put the Gators up 2-0.

 

In the next half inning, Brombacher kept the Thundering Herd off the board retiring the side, including two swinging strikeouts.

 

The strong defense continued into the third. Alianna Telles hit a single through the left side to reach first, but when Marcena Bertoldo attempted to bunt her teammate over, she popped up the ball to junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.), who threw to Paculba covering the first-base bag to double up Telles.

 

After allowing a single and a stolen base in the top of the fourth, Brombacher forced a pop up and struck out the final two batters of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Moultrie hit her second home run in two days to center field to increase the Gator advantage, 3-0.

 

Moutrie came up big for the Gator's defensively as well in the fifth. After Brombacher caught the first two balls for outs, Moultrie ran deep to right center to catch a fly ball, crashing against the wall, keeping Marshall scoreless.

 

The Gators finished off Marshall in the fifth by scoring five runs, two of them homers, as the UF continued to hit balls out the park this season. Paculba hit a triple to far right field to lead off the inning and scored on Schutte’s double. Enea, who went 2-for-3 in the game, nailed a bomb over the fence to score Schutte.   Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) followed with a solo home run to make the score 7-0. Senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) walked and was replaced sophomore pinch runner Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.).  Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) singled to second to reach base and advance Heil. After DeFelice was unable to reach base, Moultrie hit a sacrifice bunt to move Heil and Bush into scoring position. Freshman Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) came in as a pinch hitter and drew a walk to load the bases.  Paculba came up for the second time in the inning and on a full count, smashed one to left field, scoring Heil as the final run of the game.

 

Enea’s home run was the first of the tournament with runners on base as the Gators have rocketed nine solo shots in the three games.  The Gators have tallied 19 home runs on the season through eight games. 

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