Saturday March 13, 2010No. 4/11 Softball Splits First SEC Doubleheader with Ole Miss
The No. 4/11 University of Florida softball team split its first Southeastern Conference matchup, winning the first game, 12-2, in five innings and dropping the second, 6-4, in eight to Ole Miss at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) led the team, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs, three runs, a double, a home run, two walks and a sacrifice hit.
The Gators (17-3, 1-1 SEC) tallied their first home loss after 27 straight wins after taking a 10-run victory in the first game. Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) picked up both decisions, pitching eight innings on the day, giving up 13 hits, six runs, three walks and striking out nine. The righty (13-3) completed the five-inning first game, allowing six hits and just two runs while striking out three and walking two.
Florida handed Ole Miss (16-9, 3-1 SEC) its first SEC loss of the season in the first game, but the Rebels rallied back to win the second, powered by their pitcher Brittany Barnhill (7-1), who pitching all eight, allowing 10 hits, four runs, an Ole Miss record 12 walks. She also struck out six. She went 3-for-4 at the plate and hit the game-tying home run in the top of the seventh to give Ole Miss a chance to take the lead.
Becky Nye (4-5) recorded the loss in the first game, pitching 2.2 innings, allowing six hits, eight runs, four walks and striking out two. She was replaced by Lindsey Perry, who gave up four hits, four runs, two walks and struck out two.
Barnhill’s 12 walks in the second game tied a Florida record for most earned walks as the Gators also tallied 12 against Georgia in 2009. Florida left 17 runners on base in the second contest.
In game one, Ole Miss struck first, scoring two in its first at bat. Corrine Doornberg led off with a bunt single and scored on an RBI single by Barnhill. After Brombacher struck out Alyssa McGovern swinging with the bases loaded, she hit Kelly Nolan to walk in the second run of the inning.
It didn’t take long for the Gators to take the lead, scoring four in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) led things off with her second triple of the season to right and sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville , Fla.) drove her in with a double to left. Freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) tied the game with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring Moultrie. DeFelice gave the Gators lead on the next pitch with a two-run shot over the left-field foul line, her sixth homer of the season, giving the Gators a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Florida tallied four more runs to take an 8-2 advantage. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) stole second and moved to third when catcher Amber Tramp threw the ball into the outfield. Schutte and DeFelice drew walks to load the bases and junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) singled to center to score Bruder. Senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) tallied her first sac fly of the year to score Schutte and give the Gators a four-run lead. Freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) hit her first career triple to right to clear the bases and chase Nye from the game, bringing Lindsey Perry in in relief.
The Gators added another four runs in the fourth on four hits. Moultrie led off with a double to center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) drew her second walk and sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run. Bruder knocked an RBI single to right, scoring Moultrie and moving Heil to third. Heil scored with DeFelice singled up the middle. Bruder swiped second and Bush walked to load the bases for Walker, who hit a bloop double to right to score two more and give the Gators the 12-2 lead. Walker went 4-for-8 on the day with four RBIs, her best outing to date.
In the second game, freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) made her sixth career start. Although she did not get the decision in the game, the righty (3-0) pitched five innings, gave up six hits, two runs and four walks and struck out a career-high nine.
For the second time, Ole Miss tallied the first run of game, this time in the third inning. Doornberg led off with a double smoked down the right line and Grill was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second. Barnhill hit a high chopper to short, which Walker fielded, but Grill beat the throw to the second-base bag, loading the bases. Gammel walked the batter Tramp to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
UM added to its lead in the fifth, tallying another score. Grill hit a chop single over the infield to start off the inning and moved to second when Barnhill drew a walk. Gammel caught Tramp looking and then Nolan swinging for two quick outs. Aly Presswood singled to right to drive in Grill and put Ole Miss up 2-0. Gammel tallied her third K of the inning as Overbeck went down swinging.
The Gators took the lead in the fifth, tallying three runs, including a two-run shot by Enea. Moultrie led off with single through the right side and Enea tied the game with her 11th long ball of the season to right field. The homer was the 52nd of her career, which gave her sole possession of second place in the SEC record book. Bruder walked and Schutte laid down a sac bunt to move her teammate to second. DeFelice brought Bruder in on a double over the third baseman’s head, as the Gators took a 3-2 lead.
Brombacher came in to pitch in the sixth and immediately sat the first batter down on a strikeout. Alise Doubt singled to shallow left but Enea threw her out trying for second for the left fielder’s third outfield assist of the season. After Grill singled, Barnhill hit one hard back at Brombacher who threw to first for the final out of the inning.
The Rebels evened the score in the seventh when Barnhill helped her cause with a solo shot to dead center field. Brombacher then struck out the next three batters swinging to keep the game tied at three.
The Gators could not get anything going in the home half of the inning and game went to extras. Ole Miss took the lead as Overbeck tripled to right past a diving Bruder. With two down, Doubt hit a ground ball to short, which Walker dove for and threw to first but Doubt beat the threw and Overbeck scored to give the Rebels a 4-3 lead. Grill drew a walk and Barnhill came through again, doubling off the center-field wall to score both her teammates and give Ole Miss a 6-3 lead heading into the final half inning.
In its final at bat, Florida’s rally fell short as the Gators could muster only one more run. Enea led off with a high chopper to third for an infield single and advanced to third on Bruder’s double to deep center. With one down, DeFelice hit a line drive to third, where Overbeck knocked it down, but DeFelice beat the throw to load the bases. Bush fouled out to deep left field and Enea tagged up to cut the Rebels’ lead to two, but after Brooks drew a walk, Walker hit a hard grounder to third, which Overbeck handled for the final out, giving Ole Miss the 6-4 win.
The Gators return for the rubber match on Sunday at noon at Pressly Stadium. The game can be heard on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9) and be seen on GatorVision.tv. Live stats will also be available on www.GatorZone.com.