Sunday March 7, 2010No. 3/10 Softball Finishes DeMarini Invitational with 13-1 Win over Loyola Marymount
The No. 3/10 Florida softball team finished the DeMarini Invitational with a five-inning, 13-1 victory over Loyola Marymount on Sunday afternoon, racking up 14 hits, including three home runs. The Gators (16-2, 0-0 SEC) were led by junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.), who went 3-for-3 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) picked up the win for the Gators, pitching all five innings and allowing just two hits. The righty (3-0) allowed only one run and did not give up a walk, while striking out four. Molly Medeiros (0-3) shouldered the loss for the Lions (3-7).
The Gators went 4-1 in Fullerton, Calif., with junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earning two wins and Gammel taking the other two. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) led the team with a .563 batting clip, nine hits, including four home runs – three grand slams – and 14 RBIs. In all, the Gators total 12 homers on the weekend, while outscoring opponents, 51-9, and outhitting opponents, 50-19.
Against the Lions, junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) started the game for UF on the right note, hitting a lead-off solo shot for her second home run of season. Enea kept things rolling with a one-out single to left, extending her hit streak to a career-long 12 games. Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) walked to move Enea in scoring position and freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) brought her in on a single through the right side to give the Gators a 2-0 lead.
Gammel started strong in the circle, recording two strikeouts in the bottom of the inning and her teammates responded in the batter’s box, tallying eight runs on six hits in the second. The inning started the same as the last, as Bush nailed a solo shot over the left-center fence for her second homer of the day. Paculba drew a one-out walk and moved to second when the speedy sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on bunt single. Enea drew a walk to load the bases and with two down, Schutte smashed a bases-clearing double to center to give the Gators a five-run lead. Freshman Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) kept the scoring alive, bringing Schutte in on a single up the middle. After advancing on the throw home, she scored herself when senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) singled to left.
For the second time in her career, Bush launched two home runs in the same inning as she nailed a two-run shot to center to give the Gators a 10-0 lead after two full innings. Bush hit two long bombs, including a grand slam, in the same inning against Arizona State during the Gators’ 2009 trip to the utility player’s home state at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Bruder also completed the same feat earlier this season against Northwestern State. Four Gators – Bush, Bruder, Enea and junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) – have tallied two home runs in the same game five times in 2010.
Gammel kept rolling, forcing three groundouts in the second and two groundouts and a strikeout in the third. After the Gator defense turned a 6-4-3 double play in the fourth, Darcy Pagnini hit a solo home run to left field to put the Lions on the board.
In the fifth, Florida strung four hits together for three runs. Brooks, Bush and freshman Samantha Holle (Tampa, Fla.) all singled through the left side to load the bases. An illegal pitch scored sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), who came in to pinch run for Brooks. Paculba recorded another single up the middle to score Bush and Moultrie capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly to left to score Holle.
Gammel finished off the Lions with two groundouts and ended the game with her fourth strikeouts.
The Gators start Southeastern Conference play on Wednesday, March 10 in Athens, Ga., with a doubleheader against No. 6/8 Georgia beginning at 4 p.m. (ET). Both games can been see on Cox Sports Channel and heard on WYGC 105 The Game (104.9 FM).