Saturday May 22, 2010No. 4 Softball Tops UCF, 6-0, to Move on to Regional Finals
Fourth-seeded University of Florida defeated UCF, 6-0, in their second game of NCAA Tournament action at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Saturday afternoon, placing the Gators (45-8) in the Regional Championship game on Sunday.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) recorded her second one-hitter of the season and seventh of her career, as she did not allow a hit for 6.1 innings. The righty (31-6) recorded her 10th complete-game shutout, the second in two days, while walking two and striking out eight.
Classmate Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) led the way for the Gators, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and her 13th homer of the season, the Gators’ 98th. The right fielder has 30 career home runs, placing her fifth in UF history. Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs and a double as the center fielder has tallied a hit in 25 of the last 32 games and at least two in 15 of those.
“We had a tremendous crowd again today,” head coach Tim Walton said after the game. “We have a lot of respect for those people who are used to coming out here for free all year long but now pay. When I talked about building this program, I talked about building a fan base and making it fun to watch. I give the fans a lot of respect for bearing through the heat and going home with the W with us.”
UCF’s Ashleigh Cole (24-14) tallied the loss for the Knights (36-15), who will play the winner of the Bethune-Cookman-FIU game at 6:30 p.m. (ET). Cole allowed eight hits, five earned runs, one walk and struck out three.
It didn’t take long for the Gators to score as Bruder recorded her second home run in as many games in the top of the first. Moultrie led off with a double to left and Bruder belted one over the right-field fence to give UF a 2-0 lead.
Tiffany Lane walked to start the game for the Knights, but after Brombacher struck out her first batter of the game, Hillary Barrow popped up to the pitcher, who caught and fired to first, catching Lane off the bag for a double play to end the inning.
The Gators added two more to their lead in the fifth. Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) reached second on a throwing error by second baseman Natalie Land. Senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) knocked a hard-hit grounder toward the second-base bag and Land made a diving stop, but muffed the throw, allowing DeFelice to score UF’s third run. Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run for Brooks at first and advanced to second when freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) laid down a sacrifice bunt. Moultrie singled to right center, moving Heil to third and junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) plated her with the second baseman’s fifth sac fly of the season, the second-most on the team.
Florida increased its lead to 6-0 in the seventh as Moultrie tallied a one-out single up the middle. Paculba drove her in with a double off the wall in center. After swiping third, Paculba crossed the plate on Bruder’s third RBI of the day, a single through the right side. Brombacher ended the game with two strikeouts after allowing a single up the middle to Barrow with one down in the seventh, breaking up the no-hitter.
The Gators will play in the Regional Championship on Sunday, May 23 at 1 p.m. (ET). The winner advances to Super Regionals against the winner of the Amherst Regional. The game will be streamed on ncaa.com and broadcast on WYGC-FM 105 The Game.