Thursday May 13, 2010No. 5 Softball Defeats Auburn to Advance to SEC Tournament Semifinals
The No. 5/5 University of Florida softball team, the second seed in the Southeastern Conference, defeated seventh-seeded Auburn, 9-1, in five innings to move on to the tournament semifinals.
Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) and freshman Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) hit home runs in the contest to increase the Gators’ (43-7, 20-4 SEC) record-breaking total to 95 on the season. Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earned the win, as she allowed only two hits in the five innings. The righty (29-5) walked only one and struck out six.
Anna Thompson (19-7) shouldered the loss for the Tigers (31-25) as she came on in relief and pitched 2.2 innings, allowed two hits, four runs, one walk and struck out three. Jenee Loree started the game and went two innings, gave up three hits, one run, a walk and struck out two. The Auburn pitching staff did not allow an earned run in the contest.
Brombacher started the game with two strikeouts looking, but Kyndall White put the Tigers on the board with a solo shot to left. It was the first run the right-hander has given up in the last 16.2 innings and the first earned run in 33.3 innings. She got back on track with another looking K to end the inning.
After Brombacher sat AU down 1-2-3 in the second, the Gators almost knotted the game when junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) doubled down the left-field line with two out. Senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) singled through the right side and DeFelice hustled around third, but was thrown out in a very close play at the plate.
Florida did tie the game in the third when Horton rocketed one to short and Lauren Guzman kicked the ball, allowing the designated player to advance to second. That brought Thompson in to pitch and sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) in to pinch run at second. Junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt and sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) drove in the tying run with a hit back to Thompson, who could not hold onto it, but Guzman was able to make the play at first on the hard-hit ball after the run scored.
The Gators recorded eight runs on four hits in the fifth inning to take the win. Paculba started things off with a one-out walk and moved to second when Moultrie reached on an error by the Auburn left fielder. Enea was hit by a pitch to load the bases for freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.), who recorded her fourth sac fly of the season, plating Paculba for UF’s first lead. Bush broke the game open with her 13th bomb over the left-field wall, giving the Gators a 5-1 lead.
That chased Thompson from the game as Lauren Schmalz came in to relieve her. She hit junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) before giving up a single to DeFelice. Brooks then ripped one through the left side and Bruder hustled home from second to give Florida a 6-1 lead. Horton ended the game with a three-run jack to right, her third homer in the last six games and her sixth of the season.
The Gators will face third-seeded LSU on Friday, May 14 at 3 p.m. (ET). The game will air live on ESPN U and on WYGC-FM 105 The Game (104.9). Live Stats will be available on the SEC Tournament web site.