Thursday March 25, 2010Brombacher Pitches UF's First Perfect Game in Six Years in 10-0 Win
The No. 6/13 University of Florida softball team defeated USF, 10-0, in five innings on Thursday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressley Stadium. Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) pitched UF’s first perfect game in six years to lead the way for the Gators (21-3, 4-1 SEC).
Current assistant coach Jenny Gladding was the last UF pitcher to complete the perfect-game feat, doing so on Feb. 7, 2004 in a 3-0 victory over Missouri. Brombacher pitched the fourth perfect game in Florida history as UF Hall of Famer Chelsey Sakizzie pitched two between 1997 and 1998. The righty (17-3) only used 56 pitches to retire all 15 batters. The Gator ace fanned five Bulls to bring her season total 116 strikeouts.
Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) hit two home runs and drove in three runs in both of her at bats. She has now 195 career RBIs, good for fourth on the Southeastern Conference’s all-time career list. Her career home run total stands at 54 as she remains in second on the league’s all-time list.
Kristen Gordon (4-4) shouldered the loss for the Bulls (14-15, 0-0 BIG EAST), giving up seven runs, six hits, one walk and striking out one in 1.2 innings. Reliever Candance Howell allowed four Gator hits, three runs, three walks and one strikeout in 2.1 innings of work.
Gator batters tallied 10 hits off the two pitchers as junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) went 1-for-1 with a home run and a sacrifice fly and sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Eight of the nine starters recorded hits in the win.
Florida’s bats were hot from the get-go, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Enea started the barrage by hitting a hard liner, which just cleared the wall in left center, scoring Moultrie, who had reached on a single up the middle. Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) stepped to the plate and sent one back up the middle for a stand-up double. When Gordon put one in the dirt to walk freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.), Bruder advanced to third and then scored on junior Tiffany DeFelice’s (Coral Springs, Fla.) sac fly to center. Bush continued the Gator scoring with a two-run homer over the left-field fence, extending her hit streak to eight games, tying a career long.
After Brombacher went 1-2-3 in the top half of the second, Florida extended its lead by two, taking a 7-0 lead. With one down, junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) hit her fourth long ball of the season. Then with two outs, Enea launched one to center, tallying her second home run of the game. It marked the second time the outfielder hit two long balls in the same game this season and the sixth time a Gator has done it in 2010. The homer forced USF to remove Gordon from the circle as she was replaced by Howell.
In the top half of the third, Brombacher got USF’s Kendall Arnold and Alexis Nowell swinging to record her third and fourth strikeouts of the game. In UF’s half of the inning, Schutte was waived around third when Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) hit a blooper into center field, tallying her 11th RBI of the season.
Florida kept things going in the fourth, tallying two runs to give the Gators the 10-run advantage and tally scores in every inning. Moultrie led off with a single to center and Enea drew a walk. With one down, Schutte singled through the right side to load the bases. DeFelice plated Moultrie on a single to right field and Bush tallied her third RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly, scoring sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), who had come in to pinch run for Enea.
With the perfect game in reach, USF’s Alison Savarese sent a hard shot back up the middle at Brombacher, who used the edge of her glove to pick off the ball and make the throw to first. She then got JoJo Medina to pop up to second for the second out. On a 1-1 count, Cat Olnick grounded out to first to end the game.
Florida travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the Crimson Tide in a weekend series beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m. (ET). The first game of the doubleheader will be televised on ESPN2 and on www.espn360.com. Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. (ET) game will be on ESPNU. All three games will be broadcast on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9). Live stats will be available on www.GatorZone.com.