Saturday February 20, 2010No. 3/9 Softball Defeats East Carolina, 4-3, in Fourth Lipton Invite Win
The No. 3/9 University of Florida softball team edged out East Carolina, 4-3, in the Gatorsí second game on Saturday afternoon. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) hit a homer in the seventh inning to help secure the win for the Gators (8-1. 0-0 SEC).
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earned the win in 4.1 innings of pitching.† The All-American (6-1) made a relief appearance and struck out eight while allowing four hits and one run.
Faith Sutton (0-3) shouldered the loss for the Pirates (2-5, 0-0 C-USA) while pitching 3.1 innings. She allowed six Gator hits and three runs while striking out two.
Freshman Erin Schuppert (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) got her first career start in a Gator uniform.† She gave up a run early, hitting Christina Merrida with one down.† Merrida used her speed to score from first on a double by Vanessa Moreno.† After an error and a walk to load the bases, the Gator defense got out of the jam as freshman shortstop Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) made a diving catch in shallow left field for the second out and senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) caught a line drive for the final out.
Florida was able to even the score in the second. Brooks led off with a walk and junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) followed with a single to left field. Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) nailed a double to left center and Bush hustled home. The Gator defense held strong in the bottom of the second and did not let a runner reach base.
The Gators pulled ahead in the top of the third, notching another run.† Walker led off with a single through the left side and junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance her teammate. Freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) recorded an RBI with a double to center, scoring Walker and giving the Gators a 2-1 lead.
The Pirates retaliated in the third, tallying a run of their own to retie the score.† Merrida singled to start the inning and Moreno moved her over on a sac bunt.† Schuppert was able to get the next batter to ground out for the first out of the inning, but after walking Kai Clark, head coach Tim Walton signaled for Brombacher.† Sissy Jimenez took advantage of the new pitcher, lacing a single down the right-field line to score Merrida and tie the game.† After walking one, Brombacher settled in and got the pinch hitter Cicely Lopez swinging to end the Piratesí scoring threat with bases loaded.
Schuppert pitched 2.2 innings and gave up two hits, two runs and two walks.
The Gators didnít waste any time regaining the lead.† Bush recorded her first hit of the game on a single to left field and advanced when DeFelice smoked her second double of the game. Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) walked to load the bases and Walker sent Bush home on an infield single to short.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth, the two teams made it interesting in the seventh.† Enea put the Gators up two when she dropped a bomb into over the center-field fence, her second of the day. The Pirates answered in the bottom half of the inning when Marina Gusman-Brown let one fly to the same spot.† It was ECUís first homer of the season.† After allowing a walk to Clark, Brombacher got back on track by catching Jimenez looking for the first out of the inning. Cristen Aona moved Clark over on a sacrifice bunt, but Brombacher didn't give her a chance to score, ending the game on a strikeout.
The Gators return to action when they face East Carolina again on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. in the final game of the Lipton Invitational.