Friday April 23, 2010No. 4 Softball Splits Doubleheader with No. 17 Tennessee
The No. 4/4 University of Florida split a doubleheader with No. 17/18 Tennessee, winning game one, 6-0, and falling in game two, 4-3, on Friday night in front of a season-high attendance of 1,374 fans at Lee Softball Stadium. Freshman Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) led the way for the Gators (35-7, 15-4 SEC), going 4-for-8 with an RBI double in the two games, as the center fielder has tallied at least one hit in 17 of the last 20 games.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) tallied the win in the first game, pitching her sixth shutout in the complete-game effort, allowing only four hits, two walks and striking out four. Freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) started game two and went six innings, allowing six hits, two runs, two walks and struck out five. Brombacher (24-5) came in relief in the seventh, pitching 0.2 innings, allowed one hit, two runs, none earned, three walks and struck out one.
Ivy Renfroe (23-3) tallied the loss in the first game for the Lady Vols (39-9, 15-5 SEC), pitching three innings, allowing three hits, four runs, two walks and striking out three. She also started the second game and pitched four innings, allowed five Gator hits, one run, one walk and struck out three. Cat Hosfield (15-5) earned the win in the second game, pitching three innings, allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and two Ks. She also pitched four innings of relief in the first game, allowing three hits, two runs, one earned, one walk and four Ks.
It didn’t take long for the Gators to get on the board in the first contest, scoring four in the first. With one out, Moultrie single up the middle and senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) walked to load the bases for junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.). The shortstop grounded one to second to score Moultrie for the first run of the game. With two on and two down, junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) connected for her ninth homer of the season, launching one to left center and giving Florida a 4-0 lead.
Cat Hosfield came in to relieve Renfroe in the fourth and immediately retired the first two Gators. Freshman Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) singled up the middle, but pinch runner Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) was caught stealing to end the inning.
The Gators tallied two more in the fifth as freshman Samantha Holle (Tampa, Fla.) led off with a single to right. Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run and advanced to second when junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) laid down a sacrifice bunt. Moultrie nailed a double to right center, scoring her classmate. She then stole third and tallied UF’s sixth run when UT catcher Tiffany Huff tried to catch the speedy center fielder and made a throwing error, allowing Moultrie to score.
Brombacher cruised, retiring nine straight Lady Vols from the second to the fifth inning before walking Erinn Webb. Paculba started the fifth with a backhanded grab steps away from the second-base bag and threw the runner out at first. With a runner on first, Melissa Brown lined one to first baseman Holle who made the catch and stepped on first for the unassisted double play to end the inning.
The Lady Vols threatened in the sixth as Raven Chavanne led off with a single to left and Kelly Grieve followed with a bunt single. With runners on first and second and no outs, Moultrie made two stellar catches in center followed by Enea’s running grab in shallow left to keep UT off the board and preserve Brombacher’s shutout.
Florida scored the first run of the second game in the third as Schutte knocked one in with an RBI double. Moultrie led off with a single to left and Paculba walked to put two on for the Gators. Enea grounded one to shortstop Ashley Andrews, who threw to third, to get the lead runner. Schutte then nailed one to center to score Paculba from second, giving UF a 1-0 lead. The RBI was the 37th of the season for the catcher, tying her for third on UF’s freshman record list.
Tennessee tied the game in the bottom of the inning with two outs. Jessica Spigner drew a walk after Gammel started off with a swinging K and a groundout back to the circle. Huff singled through the right side and Lauren Gibson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Nicole Kajitani knocked in the tying run with a single up the middle. Gammel got Webb swinging to end the inning.
Hosfield came in to pitch in the fifth and retired three of the four Gators she faced, allowing only a walk to Schutte, who recorded her fourth steal of the season. The Lady Vols took the lead in the bottom of the inning, again with two down. Kat Dotson hit a sharply chopped ball to short for an infield single. Spigner moved her over to second on sac bunt and Huff grounded out to first, advancing Dotson to third. Gibson hit the first pitch her saw through the left side to give UT a 2-1 lead.
Florida retook the lead in the seventh as Paculba started things off with a single to left and Schutte drew a one-out walk. With two outs, Bruder hit a slow roller up the third-base line and hustled to first, loading the bases for senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.). The third baseman knocked one to left, driving in two and giving the Gators a 3-2 lead. Hosfield tallied the final out on a swinging K before UF could plate any more.
Brombacher came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh and Grieve hit a chopper to first. Holle backhanded the ball, but Grieve slid in safely before the freshman could apply the tag. Dotson drew a walk and Spigner reached on an error to load the bases. Huff tied the game with a sac fly to center. Brombacher got the next batter swinging to put two outs on the board but walked Kajitani to load the bases. The righty battled with Webb, but with a full count, threw a ball on the ninth pitch of the at bat, walking in the winning run, giving Tennessee the 4-3 win.
The Gators will play the rubber match against the Lady Vols on Saturday at 1 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9) and a video will be available for free on www.utladyvols.com. Live stats will also be available on www.GatorZone.com.