Wednesday April 14, 2010No. 3 Softball Sweeps No. 16 Florida State in Doubleheader
The No. 3/4 University of Florida softball team defeated instate rival No. 19/16 Florida State, 8-4 and 9-2, in a doubleheader in front of a record crowd at JoAnne Graf Field on Wednesday evening as every Gator starter tallied a hit, combining for 20 in the two victories.
The Gators (32-4, 12-2 SEC) were led by freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas, who went 4-for-7 with two RBIs on the night. UF hitters recorded 16 earned runs against a Seminole (36-10, 8-4 ACC) pitching staff that had a 1.24 ERA entering the contests.
Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) recorded a hit in each game to extend her hit streak to 16 games, tying the longest hit streak in Florida history, set by Melissa Zick (2004-07) in 2007. Freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) went 2-for-6 with three runs, a double and her 12th home run of the season, one away from tying UF’s freshman record set by current junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) in 2008.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) picked up the first win while freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) tallied the second win and her third save of the season in the first game in front of 933 fans in Tallahassee.
Brombacher (21-4) pitched 5.1 innings in the first game, allowed five hits, four runs, three earned, walked one and struck out six. Gammel came in for 1.2 innings of relief work and gave up one hit. Sarah Hamilton (18-6) tallied the loss, allowing eight hits, eight runs, four walks and struck out seven.
The Gators tallied a season-high six stolen bases in the first contest, led by Paculba and Gammel, who each swiped two.
After erasing the only hit allowed on a double play in the first inning, the Gators got to work in the second, tallying four runs on four hits to take the early lead. Schutte drew a four-pitch walk and Bush knocked an infield single past the diving third baseman to put two on. With two down, Gammel tallied an RBI single to right on the first pitch to score Schutte and give the Gators a 1-0 lead. After Gammel stole second, Walker singled to center to drive in both her teammates. Paculba kept her hit streak alive with a hit to right and Walker hustled from second to score the fourth run of the inning.
Brombacher retired the side in the second, tallying one K, and the Gators tallied three more runs for their pitcher on Bush’s 10th home run of the season in the top of the third. Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) singled up the middle and Schutte walked for the second time to put two on for the first baseman, who launched one over the left-field wall to give Florida a seven-run lead.
The Seminoles got three back in the bottom of the inning. Courtney Rosen and Morgan Bullock reached base on fielder’s choices and Carly Wynn drove them in on a double to center. Tiffani Brown plated Wynn on a single to right before Brombacher finished off the inning with a fly out and shortstop Walker caught a hard liner to end the inning.
Brombacher kept her momentum, striking out the side in fourth on three swinging Ks. FSU did record one in the fifth as Rosen was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a ground out. After tagging up on fly ball to right, Rosen scored on an errant throw by Bruder.
The Gators got the run back in the sixth as Gammel earned a free pass to first on a one-out walk. Walker followed with a single through the right side and Paculba grounded one to her counterpart at second, who flipped to the bag to get the second out as Gammel advanced to third. With runners on the corners, the Gators put on the double steal and Gammel tallied her second stolen base of the game at the plate to give UF an 8-4 lead.
Gammel came in to relieve Brombacher in the sixth after the junior tallied her fifth strikeout of the night. With bases loaded, the freshman got Wynn to ground one to first baseman Bush to end the inning and preserve the lead. She continued to roll with a 1-2-3 seventh to tally her third save of the season.
The freshman right-hander (10-0) tallied her 10th win as she pitched a complete game two, allowing eight hits, two runs, two walks and struck out two. FSU’s Terese Gober (17-4) went 5.1 innings, allowed 11 hits, nine runs, two walks and struck out four in her loss.
The Gators tallied the first run of the second contest as Moultrie reached on a bunt single and Bruder lined one to left that fielder Bullock could not handle, scoring the speedy Moultrie from first.
FSU answered with a run of its own in the second. Rosen led off with a single through the left side and Tory Haddad moved her over on a sac bunt. After advancing to third on a ground out, Rosen scored the tying run as Bullock beat out an infield single.
Florida regained the lead in the third, recording four runs to break the game open. With one down, Paculba hit a slow roller between the circle the plate and hustled to first to tally her 20th hit in 16 straight games. Moultrie then walked and senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) singled through the right side to score Paculba from second. Bruder followed with a sacrifice fly for the second run of the inning before Schutte belted a two-run bomb to center to give the Gators a 5-1 lead.
The Seminoles added one more in the fifth as Shayla Jackson tripled to center and was driven in on sac fly by Jen Lapicki.
The Gators did not let up on the scoring, tallying four more runs in the sixth, starting with a sac fly by Paculba as Gammel led off with a walk and Walker moved her over on a single through the left side. The pitcher stole third and Paculba plated her with her second sacrifice fly of the year. Moultrie kept things going with her second bunt single of the game and Enea drove Walker in with a chop single over the third baseman’s head. After Moultrie and freshman pinch runner Alyese Stapf (Tampa, Fla.) moved up a wild pitch, Bruder knocked her center fielder in on a single through the left side. That chased Gober from the game as Florida State went to the bullpen for Lauren Varsalona. Schutte got to the new pitcher immediately with a double to deep center, scoring Stapf, but Bruder was thrown out at the plate for the second out. Varsalona forced Bush to ground out to end the inning, but the Gators took the 9-2 lead.
The UF defense ended the game on a double play to come away with the doubleheader sweep. The Gators now lead the all-time series, 14-13, and have won the last seven meetings.
Florida returns to action on Saturday, April 17 with a three-game series against Kentucky starting with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. (ET). The first game will be televised on Sun Sports and Sunday’s noon game will be on ESPN U. All three games will be broadcast on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9). Live stats are available on www.GatorZone.com.