Friday March 25, 2011No. 2 Florida Softball Edged, 10-7, by No. 3 Georgia Friday
A six-run fifth-inning rally for the No. 2 Gator softball team that knotted the game, followed by a Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) solo shot in the sixth that took UF up, 7-6, fell short as No. 3 Georgia answered with four runs in the seventh to pull out a 10-7 victory in the first game of the three-game series Friday. With the score at 6-3, in favor of Georgia, senior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) knocked a three-run bomb over the right-field fence to tie the game at six-all before Bush’s second homer gave UF its sole lead. Bruder went 2-for-3 on the day with three RBI and one run, while Bush rallied, going 2-for-4 with two homers, two runs and two RBI to effectively extend her career-long and UF record hit streak to 20 games.
Morgan Montemayor tallied her 11th win of the season for the Bulldogs (25-4, 6-3 SEC) by giving up one hit, no runs and two walks as the pitcher of record when the Bulldogs regained the lead in the seventh inning. Alison Owen pitched 4.1 innings while giving up six Gator hits, four runs and striking out five.
Sophomore righty Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) (0-1) shouldered her first loss of the season for the Gators (30-2, 7-1 SEC) in seven innings of work after10 Georgia runs on12 hits. Gammel struck out two on the evening.
Georgia tallied one run quickly in the first when Megan Wiggins drew a walk and a pair of singles brought her home, but each team’s defensive efforts held both squads scoreless until the fifth. Gammel and the defense were able to get out of a jam in the third thanks to a double play by freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) and senior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.). Wiggins and Alisa Goler drew walks, but Brianna Hesson hit into a double play, sending herself and Goler back to the dugout. With Wiggins on third, freshman Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) caught a pop up for the final out.
The Bulldogs’ offense kicked into gear in the fifth, adding five more runs to their total, capitalizing on four hits, three walks and two wild pitches to go up, 6-0.
The Orange and Blue responded by tallying six runs in the bottom of the inning. Bush led off with the 57th home run of her career. Coyle followed by plating a homer of her own, the sixth of the season for the newcomer, marking the third time this season UF has had at least two homers in row. The Gators’ two runs chased Owen from the game, but Erin Arevalo gave up a double to sophomore Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) and a single to classmate Samantha Holle (Tampa, Fla.). Junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on a fielder’s choice eliminated Gammel at second, who was running for Holle, and scored junior Ellie Langley (Spring Hill, Fla.), pinch running for Horton. The Gators cut the Bulldogs’ advantage to 6-3 and a single by Paculba saw Owen reenter the game in the circle for UGA. The Bulldog starter had no effect on Bruder, who sent her three-run homer over the right-field fence with a full count and two outs, evening the score at six after the bottom of the fifth.
After holding Georgia scoreless in the sixth, UF took the lead at the bottom of the sixth when Bush led off with a long ball for the second time in the match, but Georgia regained the lead by adding four in the top of the seventh with a solo home run by Taylor Schlopy and a three-run shot from Hesson, giving the Bulldogs the eventual 10-7 win in the first game of the series.
The Gators will return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Saturday at 4:30 p.m. to attempt to even the series against the visiting Bulldogs. Visit www.GatorZone.com for live stats and video provided by GatorVision. Gator fans can also listen live on 105 ‘The Game’ locally, with the call by Adam Schick, or tune in on television with coverage by Fox Sports-Florida, featuring Bernie Guenther and Kristina Hilberth on the call.