Saturday March 12, 2011Florida Softball Defeats UConn, Robert Morris to Open Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater Friday
The top-ranked Gator softball team used a 9-0, five-inning win over UConn and a 6-1 win over Robert Morris to take two victories on the opening day of the USF-hosted Under Armour Showcase at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater Friday. Florida improved to 23-0 in 2011, tallied its 13th shutout of the season and continued its scoring barrage, tallying 15 runs on 18 hits Friday.
Sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) led the Gators on the first day of play at the showcase, going 4-for-6 (.667) with a double, three runs and one RBI, while senior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) and freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) both registered a .500 batting clip, Bush going 3-for-6 with two runs, five RBI and a homer and Coyle hitting 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run.
In UF’s first game against UConn, the Orange and Blue quickly put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning, while tallying a four-run fourth inning to down the Huskies. Two-consecutive walks for seniors Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) and Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) in the first inning set up for a Schutte double to right field that drove in Bruder and advanced Paculba to third. Next up, Bush homered for her ninth bomb of the season to clear the bases and earn three RBI. Three consecutive singles up the middle ensued by sophomore Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.), Coyle and sophomore Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.), Gammel’s which brought Horton across the plate for the fifth run of the inning.
UConn, which tallied just two hits, one on a double by the first batter of the game, recorded the final hit on a single down the left-field line in the fifth inning. Freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) recorded her 10th win of the season, throwing 4.0 innings, allowing just the initial double and striking out two. Rogers became just the third pitcher in Florida history to start her career with 10 wins without suffering a loss, joining Gammel and senior ace Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.). Gammel came on for one inning of scoreless relief against the Huskies, striking out a season-high three batters and allowing just the one final Husky hit.
Three consecutive base hits in the fourth by Bruder, Schutte and then Bush helped score Bruder and a Coyle single to deep left field allowed an extra base also brought Schutte across home plate. A two-RBI single down the left-field line brought home Coyle and junior Ashley Snedeker (Bloomington, Minn.), who was pinch running for Bush, to bring UF to its final, 9-0 margin.
Brombacher pitched the complete seven innings in Florida’s match-up with the Robert Morris Colonials in the nightcap, striking out 11, just shy of her career-high 12 Ks, while allowing just one run on four hits, a solo homer to center field by the Colonias’ pitcher/designated player Dubovec at the top of the seventh.
Florida spread the scoring out between the fourth and sixth innings in the second game of the evening, scoring four runs in the fourth and two in the sixth for the 6-1 margin. Florida had production from its first four batters in the second half of the fourth inning, beginning with a Bruder double, a Schutte single through the right side and a Bush single down the right-field line that brought in Bruder. Next up, Horton delivered with a three-run long ball over the right-field fence to clear the bases, her fifth bomb of the season.
The Gators’ next two runs came in the sixth when Bush capitalized on a fielding error by the Colonials’ short stop to advance to second base. A Horton walk set up runners on first and third after junior Ellie Langley (Spring Hill, Fla.), running for Bush, stole third. Snedeker entered for Horton and both Langley and Snedeker advanced on a passed ball, Langley across home for the fifth run of the game and Snedeker to second. A sacrifice fly for Coyle brought the sixth and final run home, while two consecutive groundouts ended the inning, and the scoring, for the Orange and Blue.
The Gators will continue the second day of the showcase Saturday at the Eddie C. Moore Complex with match-ups against Ball State and No. 16 Nebraska. Gator fans can listen live on 105 The Game with Adam Schick and Kristina Hilberth calling the action, or follow live stats on line by linking on www.GatorZone.com.