Friday May 14, 2010No. 5 Softball Falls to No. 17 LSU, 9-1, in SEC Tournament Semifinals
The No. 5 University of Florida softball team lost, 9-1, to No. 17/11 LSU in the Southeastern Conference Semifinals as the Tigers (43-13) tallied their first win over the Gators (43-7) in the last 10 meetings.
Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) led the way for UF, going 2-for-3 with two bunt singles as she has recorded a hit in 24 of the last 30 games. Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) scored the only Florida run, launching a solo shot in the fourth inning.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) (29-6) shouldered the loss, pitching 2.1 innings, allowing three hits, four runs, three walks and struck out two. Freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calf.) pitched 1.1 innings of relief, allowed six hits, four runs, two earned and two walks. Freshman Erin Schuppert (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) went 3.1 innings and allowed only two hits, a run, one walk and struck out four. She retired the first five batters she faced.
Cody Trahan (13-4) earned the win for the Tigers, who will play the winner of the Alabama-Tennessee game for the SEC Tournament Championship on Saturday.
The last time Florida lost to LSU was in the conference championship game in 2007, in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. The last time the Tigers scored nine runs against the Gators was on May 13, 2005 in a 9-1 victory, also in the SEC Tournament.
The Tigers got on the board early, scoring two in the first. Kirsten Shortridge led off with a single through the right side and Ashley Applegate followed with a pop up to short, which Bush lost in the sun. The shortstop had a chance to make the out at second, but overthrew the bag, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Rachel Mitchell popped up a bunt, which freshman first baseman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) caught and fired to third to catch Shortridge off the bag, but senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) was called for interference and the runner was allowed to remain. Ashley Langoni walked to load the bases and Anissa Young grounded one to junior second baseman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.), who fired home to get the force out. Juliana Santos drew a walk to bring home the first run of the game and Langoni scored on an illegal pitch. Brombacher ended the inning with a swinging strikeout.
The Gators got two on the base path in the first, as Moultrie tallied a bunt single and Schutte walked, but could not plate any runners. In the top of the second, Morgan Russell led off with a solo shot to center, giving LSU a 3-0 lead.
With one down, Brombacher walked Langoni and Gammel came in. Langoni stole second and Young hit a chopper to short and legged it out for a base hit. Santos singled up the middle to load the bases and Courtney Hollier drew a walk to bring in the Tigers’ fourth run. After a force play at home, the Tigers managed two more runs on two singles to take a 6-0 lead.
After the Gators went 1-2-3 in the third, the Tigers got two more in the fourth to take an 8-0 lead. After allowing a walk and a single, Gammel forced two fly outs. With runners on first and second, Hollier grounded a slow roller back to Gammel, who could not make the play. Paculba tried to catch Mitchell off the bag at third, but misfired, allowing the Tigers to score another run. A single by Russell gave LSU an 8-0 lead. Schuppert came in to replace Gammel and ended the inning with a strikeout.
Bush put the Gators on the board with a one-out solo shot to left, her 13th of the year. Schuppert and the UF defense recorded their first 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth as the righty forced a groundout, fly out and got her second K.
Schuppert retired first five batters she faced and after allowing a single to Young, struck out the next two batters. The righty sat down eight of nine Tigers before giving up a two-out solo home run to Shortridge in the top of the seventh.
The NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, May 20. The selection show will air at 10 p.m. (ET) on ESPN U.