Saturday June 5, 2010No. 4 Softball Shut Outs No. 9 Missouri to Move On in WCWS
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Powered by three home runs, including two by freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.), the fourth-seed University of Florida softball team defeated ninth-seed Missouri, 5-0, tallying its win in the 2010 Women’s College World Series.
Schutte hit her 17th and 18th homers for the Gators (49-9), moving into a tie for second on UF’s single-season list, while tallying three RBIs. The utility player’s 58 RBIs for the season is sixth in record books.
Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) recorded the win, allowing the Gators to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament and play again on Saturday. The righty (35-7) pitched her 12th complete-game shutout, allowing six hits and two walks and struck out six.
“Obviously, you’ve got to give credit to our players today,” Head coach Tim Walton said after the win. “I thought we did a good job coming back defensively. (As far as) pitching, Stephanie (Brombacher) was really good, especially when she needed to be when there were a couple of runners on base. Then offensively, the key to the College World Series is getting clutch hits when you need them, and I thought we had three of those clutch hits.”
Kristin Nottelmann (24-9) shouldered the loss for the Tigers (51-13), going five innings, allowing three hits, three runs, one walk and striking out one. Reliever Jana Hainey came in for one inning, gave up two runs, one earned, and struck out one without allowing a walk.
After a lead-off bloop single to right to start the game, the Gator defense halted any Missouri effort to get on the board. Ashley Fleming hit a one-out fly to right, which junior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) caught and fired to senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) as Rhea Taylor was tagging to make the final out of the inning. It marked Bruder’s first outfield assist of the season.
The Gators threatened in the bottom half of the first. Sophomore Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) bunted for a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Bruder advanced her teammate to third on a groundout and senior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with two down. Enea took off for second, but the Mizzou catcher Catherine Lee did not throw down and Nottelmann got Schutte swinging to end the inning.
Brombacher got out of a jam in the third after striking out the first batter. Gina Schneider hit a bloop single to left, which freshman shortstop Brittany Walker (Tomball, Texas) almost caught, and moved to second on Taylor’s bunt single. Jenna Marston hit a grounder to Brooks, who flipped to Walker covering the third-base bag to get the lead runner. Brombacher walked the next batter to load the bases, but struck Fleming out looking to keep Missouri scoreless through three.
Schutte put Florida on the board in the fourth with a two-run shot into the center-field bleachers. Enea drew a walk after battling through a 13-pitch at bat. Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run and immediately stole her 11th base of the season. She is 11-for-11 in 2010. Schutte then launched her 17th of the season, giving the Gators a 2-0 lead and breaking the scoreless tie.
One inning later, Bruder put UF up by three with a solo shot off the right-field foul pole, tallying her fifth long ball of the NCAA Tournament and her 16th of the season. Brombacher came in and retired the side, getting the final out chasing.
Missouri made a pitching change, bringing in Jana Hainey in the sixth. Schutte took advantage and smashed her second home run into the center-field bleachers. She is the sixth Gators to belt two bombs in the same game for the ninth time this season. Junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) reached on an error by the second baseman and freshman Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) came in to run. Junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) laid down a sacrifice bunt and Gammel used her speed to advance all the way to third. Brooks plated her with a sacrifice fly, giving the Gators the final 5-0 score.
Brombacher quickly got the first two outs of the seventh before walking Taylor. She forced the final Mizzou batter to ground out to give the Gators another game.
Florida will face sixth-seed Georgia at 7 p.m. (ET) for the first time this season. The regular-season matchup was canceled due to rain earlier in the year. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN, www.espn3.com and WYGC-FM 105 The Game.