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Wednesday March 17, 2010No. 6/13 Softball Sweeps Auburn For 20th Win

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 6/13 University of Florida softball team defeated Auburn, 7-0 and 5-4, in a doubleheader Wednesday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) went 3-for-6 with two home runs and the game-winning double in the Gatorsí come-from-behind victory.†

 

Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earned both wins, while striking out 11 batters in the first game, tying her season high. Brombacher (16-3) did not allow an Auburn hit for 4 2/3 innings in game one and came in in relief in the second game, striking out two in the top of the seventh in a tie ballgame.

 

Angel Bunner (5-4) shouldered both losses for the Tigers (15-9, 2-3 SEC) as she allowed eight hits and seven runs by Florida (20-3, 4-1 SEC) on the day.

 

The Gators started out strong in the first contest by scoring two runs in their first at bat. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to earn a free pass to first. Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) moved her to second on a sac bunt. and Bruder then launched her sixth home run of the season to give the Gators a 2-0 advantage.

 

Brombacher kept the Tigers off the bases in the second while striking out one. Offensively, the Gators added another run to their lead when junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) scored on an error by the shortstop. Bush doubled to right center but was able to advance to third on the center fielderís fielding error. She was then able to score on another error, this one by the shortstop, when the Tigers tried to catch the Gator in a rundown.

 

Paculba added her second run of the game in the third to give the Gators a four-run lead. She tallied an infield single and was safe at second when second baseman Kelley Smiley dropped the ball at the bag.† She tagged up on a fly ball by senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and scored on a wild pitch.

 

The Gators added three more runs in the sixth to secure the 7-0 victory. Bruder began by earning a walk and advanced when freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) singled to right field. Both runners moved up a bag on a wild pitch and a single by Bush plated Bruder. Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came to run for Bush and freshman pinch hitter Kelsey Horton (Tampa, Fla.) drew a walk, loading the bases. Paculba and Moultrie were both patient at the plate, drawing walks to score the final two runs.† Brombacher ended the first game by getting two of the three out on Ks.

 

Freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) started her ninth game of the season for the Gators, but the second game was halted by a 20-minute rain delay before either team could get on the board.

 

Lauren Guzman was walked before the delay and Elizabeth Eisterhold drew another walk once play resumed in the second inning. Kelsey Cartwright tallied a sac hit to move both runners into scoring position and Guzman was able to score on Katie Coltonís groundout for the Tigersí first run of the day.†

 

While the Gators could not register a run, Gammel kept her team in the game by keeping the Tigers off the base path, including getting two AU batters to strike out in the third.

 

The Tigers tallied a run in the fourth and again in the fifth, taking a 3-0 lead.† Amber Harrelson singled through the right side and Guzman was hit by a pitch to put two runners on.† They both moved into scoring position on a groundout and Cartwright registered an RBI, scoring Harrelson a groundout to short.† In the fifth, Colton walked, but Gammel settled down to get the next batter swinging.† She then forced Harrelson to lineout but Colton moved into scoring position with a stolen base.† Caitlin Stangl singled to advance Colton, who scored on another Tiger single, this one by Smiley.†

 

The Gators fired back with two runs in bottom of the inning to bring them within one. With two down, senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) walked and then freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) recorded UFís first hit against Anna Thompson, who pitched 4 2/3 innings without allowing one.† Paculba then walked to load the bases and Moultrie came through and nailed a single up the middle, scoring Brooks and Walker.†

 

Auburn's Eisterhold hit a solo home run in the sixth to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but their push would not be enough to conquer the Gators. Freshman Erin Schuppert (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) came in to relieve Gammel and was able to secure the final two outs of the inning, including one by way of the K.

 

Florida tied the game at four in the bottom of the inning. Bruder led off with her second home run of the day, a solo shot to right field, her seventh of the season. It was quickly followed by a bomb by Schutte, also to right, tallying her sixth of 2010.† The last time the Gators hit back-to-back homers was on Feb. 20 against Marshall.† That chased Thompson from the game as Auburn brought Brunner back in.† Thompson pitched five innings, allowing four hits, four runs, three walks and struck out 10.

 

Brombacher came in the tie game in the top of the seventh. She retired the side with two strikeouts, one swinging and one looking, and a groundout.

 

Paculba started off the Gator seventh with a double to left to put her scoring position as the winning run. With two outs, Bruder hit a double through the left side and Paculba crossed the plate to give the Gators the 5-4 win.

 

Gammel went 5.1 innings, allowed four hits, four runs, three walks and struck out five.† Schuppert pitched 0.2 innings and struck out one while Brombacherís line in the second game was 1.0 innings pitched with two Ks.†

 

The Gators travel to Waco, Texas, to play a three-game series against No. rv/24 Baylor starting on Saturday, March 20 with a doubleheader at 3 p.m. (ET). All the action can be heard live on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9) and live stats are available via www.GatorZone.com.

 

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