Sunday May 30, 2010No. 4 Softball Downs No. 13 Arizona State, 8-0, in Game One of Super Regionals
The fourth-seed University of Florida defeated 13th-seed Arizona State, 8-0, in five innings in the first game of the Gainesville Super Regional on Saturday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium as four Gators recorded two hits apiece.
Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) and senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) led the way for the Gators (47-8) with three RBIs each. Freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Brooks belted a homer each to bring Florida’s total to 102, tied with Alabama for the Southeastern Conference record. Schutte’s long ball was her 16th of the season as the freshman is now tied for fifth on UF’s single-season record list.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) recorded her 11th shutout of the season and third of the postseason, allowing only four hits while striking out five of the 18 batters she faced. The righty (33-6) walked only one in the complete-game effort for the fourth time this season.
Hillary Bach (25-8) shouldered the loss for the Sun Devils (44-16), allowing six hits, five runs, four earned, two walks and she struck out one.
“The crowd was awesome, the pitching was awesome, the defense was awesome,” head coach Tim Walton said after the game. “And obviously you can't win games without scoring runs. The offense, hitters one through nine, really did a good job for us.”
The Gators tallied one run in the first as sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) led off the bottom of the inning with a hard-hit single to second. Second baseman Michelle Nulliner made a diving stop, but could not recover and the speedy center fielder reached the bag safely. With one down, Bruder ripped a double to the left-field wall, allowing Moultrie to score.
After allowing two straight hits to start the game, Brombacher struck out the final two batters of the inning and then retired eight straight into the fourth inning. Krista Donnenwirth drove one to left to break up Brombacher’s run, but then Annie Lockwood grounded to short and the Gators got Donnenwirth as the lead runner at second. The UF righty forced a pop up to end the inning and keep ASU off the board.
Florida added a run to its lead in the fourth as Schutte led off with a single up the middle. Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) grounded to shortstop Katelyn Boyd, who overthrew the second-base bag, allowing Schutte to reach safely. Classmate Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) advanced Schutte to third on a grounder to Boyd, who got Bush at second for the second out. Brooks plated Schutte on a single through the left side, giving the Gators a 2-0 lead.
The Gators ended the game in the fifth with six runs on four hits, including the two home runs. Moultrie led off with a triple down the right-field line, her second of the season. The sophomore has tallied a hit in 27 of the last 34 games and at least two in 16 of them. After junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) walked, Bruder doubled down the right-field line to clear the bases and give the Gators a four-run lead. That chased Bach from the game as Sam Parlich came on in relief. Senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bruder to third and Schutte launched her 16th home run to left, adding two to UF’s run total. Bush drew a walk and with two down, Brooks ended the game with a shot over the scoreboard in center, her 10th of the season, giving the Gators the 8-0 victory.
The Gators and Sun Devils return to action on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) to finish the best-of-three series. The game(s) will be broadcast on ESPNU and WYGC-FM 105 The Game.