Sunday April 18, 2010No. 3 Softball Clinches Series Against Kentucky with 5-0 Win
The No. 3/4 University of Florida softball team won the rubber match against Kentucky, 5-0, at Pressly Stadium on Sunday afternoon as junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) pitched her fifth complete game of the season, striking out nine, allowing eight hits and one walk in her fifth shutout.
Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) led the Gators (34-5, 14-3 SEC) by going 2-for-3, with two RBIs, including hitting her 58th career home run, which moved her to within two of the SEC all-time record of 60.
Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) led the Gators on the weekend against the Wildcats (27-18, 11-11 SEC), going 6-for-10, with two runs, a double, an RBI and one outfield assist.
Chanda Bell (15-10) shouldered the loss for UK, giving up three runs, four hits and striking out one batter in one inning of work. Rachel Riley came in to relieve Bell in the second, pitched five innings, gave up six hits, two runs and one walk.
In the first, Brombacher (23-4) retired three of the four batters she faced, preventing the Wildcats from scoring in their first at bat for the first time this weekend.
Florida started the game on a hot streak, scoring at least one run in the first four innings, including two in the first. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) drew a lead-off walk, moving into third on UF’s all-time career walks list at 117. With one down, Enea doubled to left, plating Paculba. The left fielder was tagged out at third when she tried to advance on the throw home. With the bases empty, junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) hit her team-leading, 11th double and was immediately driven in by freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.), who followed with a double of her own, tallying her 35th RBI of the season to claim sole possession of fourth place on Florida’s freshman RBI list.
Brombacher rolled in the second, striking out two of the three batters she faced. In the bottom half of the inning, freshman Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) led off with her second home run in as many days, chasing Bell from the game and giving the Gators a 3-0 lead.
Brombacher retired the side once again in the third, notching her third and fourth Ks of the game. Enea increased the Gator’s lead to four in the third with her 17th long ball of the season. The senior now is tied for second on Florida’s single-season list, one shy of the 18 homers she hit in 2009 to establish the current school record.
Kentucky threatened by loading the bases to start the fourth, but the Gator ace struck out Brittany Cervantes for the second time of the game to slow the Wildcats’ momentum. Brombacher got Meagan Aull to fly to right and pinch hitter Alice O’Brien went down swinging to end the top half of the inning.
Freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) doubled to left and Paculba drew her second walk of the game to start the Gators’ fourth. Moultrie then plated Walker on a single to left-center, bringing UF’s lead to 5-0.
Holding onto the five-run lead, Brombacher started the seventh with two swinging Ks. After Kentucky loaded the bases on three straight singles, Megan Yocke popped one up in foul territory for senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) to secure the final out and the shutout for the Gators.
Florida returns to action on Tuesday, April 20 with a doubleheader against FIU at 4 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Both games will be broadcast on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9) and on www.GatorVision.tv. Live stats are available on www.GatorZone.com.