Friday February 25, 2011No. 4/5 Gator Softball Wins Nine-Inning Thriller, 6-5, Over No. 11/12 Texas
PALM SPRINGS, Calif.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif.
With two outs and the scored knotted at five in the bottom of the ninth, junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit a single to center field for the Gatorsí game-winning RBI against No. 11/12 Texas Thursday.† The International Tie Breaker rule in effect, sophomore Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) occupied second base to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt by senior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.), followed by a Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) strikeout brought up Moultrie in the two-out situation and the junior delivered, as the Gators improved to 11-0 on the season with the 6-5 victory over the Longhorns in Palm Springs.
Freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) tallied her second win Thursday, improving to 5-0 for UF this season. Rogers struck out both batters she faced and was the pitcher of record when the Gators went ahead and maintained for the victory. Senior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) threw 8.1 innings, walked just four, struck out seven and allowed her first runs of the season as UT put up five across home plate.
Texas wasted no time getting on the board at the top of the second with a two-run homer by Shelby Savony, which would be the only two runs for either squad through the first five innings of play. A three-run spark for the Gators at the bottom of the sixth looked to be promising as sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) dropped a two-run bomb over the right-field fence to compliment a Moultrie score following a fielderís choice on senior Kelsey Bruderís (Corona, Calif.) at bat.
Florida, with a 3-2 lead entering the seventh, was forced to play catch-up after Texas took a one-run lead at the top of the inning following a run scored by Torie Schmid and a solo homer by Taylor Hoagland to take Texas up, 4-3. The Gators battled, keeping the game interesting with a leadoff single by sophomore Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) and two consecutive sacrifice bunts that allowed the Orange and Blue to tie the game at four-all on a Moultrie triple to center field that brought pinch runner Ellie Langley (Spring Hill, Fla.), forcing extra innings.
The Longhorns and Gators traded runs in the eighth inning, with UTís Lexy Bennet scoring after a sacrifice bunt and then a sac fly, while Florida brought ITB-placed runner, senior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) home on a Bruder single up the middle.
Florida held UT scoreless in the ninth as Rogers relieved Brombacher after the ace tallied the first out. Rogers then struck out Hoagland and Brejae Washington to turn the bottom of the ninth over for the Gators to finish.
Moultrie finished the day 2-for-3 and two RBI with two walks.
Blaire Luna (6-1) took the loss for the Longhorns after 8.2 innings of work, 14 strikeouts, eight hits and four walks.
Earlier Thursday, fourth-ranked Florida chalked up its fourth all-time win over Indiana after defeating the Hoosiers 7-0 Thursday morning in Palm Springs. Florida used a two-run third inning, a four-run rally with two outs in the sixth inning and a Schutte score off a Samantha Holle (Tampa, Fla.) double† in the seventh to down IU in its opening game at the Cathedral City Classic..
Rogers tallied the win for the Gators against the Hoosiers, improving to 4-0 on the season through the morning session. Rogers retired seven batters by strikeout and walked just three, giving up just two hits in seven innings of work.
Indianaís Morgan Melloh (4-6) tallied the loss for the Hoosiers, allowing seven runs on seven hits and walking nine, but striking out 14 Gator batters.
Florida struck first at the top of the third inning on a Bruder sacrifice fly, which brought home Holle, who reached after drawing the walk from Melloh. Up next, senior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) singled and reached second on the throw, advancing Moultrie to third and scoring Fagan, who reached base with a single to right center, to take the Orange and Blue ahead early, 2-0.
The Gators, who have drawn 56 walks so far this season, stayed true to form in the top of the sixth. Following a Bush double to right center and a Schutte strikeout, Florida drew three walks from freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.), DeFelice and Fagan. With Faganís walk, junior Ellie Langley (Spring Hill, Fla.) scored as a pinch runner for Bush, still leaving bases loaded with two outs for Paculba, who also walked to score Coyle. A Moultrie blooper to left center resulted in two RBI, Fagan and pinch runner Ashley Snedeker (Bloomington, Minn.) for DeFelice to give UF a 6-0 lead.
Florida added the final run in the seventh with two outs thanks to a Holle double to left field, which brought in Schutte, who reached on a single of her own.
Florida will return for its second day of the Cathedral City Classic Friday when the Gators will take on San Diego State and No. 2/2 UCLA. For a recap following the action, visit www.GatorZone.com.