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Sunday May 30, 2010No. 4 Softball Earns Third Straight Trip to Women's College World Series

Gainesville, Fla.

The fourth-seed University of Florida softball team defeated 13th-seed Arizona State, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon to move on to the program’s third straight Women’s College World Series appearance.

 

Junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) came up big for the Gators (48-8), going 2-for-2 with two home runs, three RBIs and one intentional walk.  The right fielder went 10-for-15 in Florida’s five NCAA Tournament wins and belted four homers, collecting 10 RBIs. 

 

Classmate Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) earned her fifth NCAA Tournament victory, pitching a complete game, while allowing seven hits, two runs, one earned, one walk and two strikeouts.  The righty (34-6) has registered a 0.90 ERA in the postseason while moving into second on UF’s career wins list with 76 victories and third on the career strikeout list with 541.

 

VIDEO: Postgame Press Conference and Highlights 5-30-2010

 

The Gators handed the Sun Devils (44-17) their first losses the Super Regionals as Megan Elliot (12-3) shouldered the second loss of the best-of-three series.  She pitched a complete game, allowed six hits, five runs, three walks and struck out five.  Florida launched three home runs in the game, totaling 105 on the season, a school and Southeastern Conference record. 

 

Along with No. 6 Georgia and No. 15 Tennessee, the Gators are the third SEC team to travel to the WCWS.  It is the second year in a row the conference has sent three teams. 

 

“What a great weekend,” head coach Tim Walton said. “To get to the College World Series the first time with a good team, to get there the second time with an even better team and then to get there a third time, that's when you build a program.”

 

Florida took the lead in the third, as the rain came down.  With one out, junior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) nailed the 13th pitch of her at bat up the middle for a base hit.  Bruder rocketed her 14th home run to center to put the Gators up 2-0. 

 

Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) led off the fourth inning with a solo shot over the center-field fence, her 15th bomb of the season to give UF a three-run lead. 

 

Bruder tallied her second home run in the fifth, this time a one-out, solo shot to center, giving Florida a 4-0 lead.  It marked the second time this season the right fielder has belted two homers in the same game and the eighth time this season a Gator has completed the feat.

 

Arizona State got on the board in the sixth with one run.  After Brombacher forced a groundout to start the inning, Kaylyn Castillo doubled to left and moved to third on another groundout.  She scored on an illegal pitch call for ASU’s first run of the game. 

 

Florida scored its fifth run in the seventh.  Freshman Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) started things off with her second career triple through the right side, her first hit in postseason play.  After two hard-hit outs by the top of the Gators lineup, Bruder was intentionally walked to put runners at the corners.  With a 3-2 count on senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.), Bruder took off for second and on the throw down, Walker swiped home for the Gators’ fifth and final run. 

 

ASU notched its second run in the bottom of the inning.  Brombacher forced a fly out for the first out of the inning.  Caylyn Carlson singled through the left side and pinch hitter Katie Crabb hit one back to Brombacher, who made a throwing error to second to allow both runners to stand at first and second.  After a fly out to center, Katelyn Boyd singled to load the bases and Lesley Rogers lined back to Brombacher to score Carlson for ASU’s second run of the game.  The junior settled in and ended the game on a pop up, sealing Florida’s ticket to Oklahoma City before the Sun Devils could mount a comeback.

 

The Gators will now play No. 5 UCLA at the WCWS on Thursday, June 3, at 3:30pm ET on ESPN.  All games at the WCWS will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, including www.espn3.com, and all Florida games can be heard live in the Gainesville area on 105 The Game - WYGC-FM (104.9). 

 

 

 

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