Saturday March 26, 2011No. 2 Florida Softball Drops 13-5 Decision to No. 3 Georgia Saturday
The No. 2 Gator softball team fell to Georgia, 13-5, in the second game of the conference series at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Saturday in front of an Orange and Blue-clad crowd of 1,879. Even though Florida put runs on the board early and trailed just 6-5 heading to the top of the final inning, the Gator defense was no match for the seven Bulldog runs scored in the seventh. Both teams posted nine hits, but Georgia was able to capitalize on 12 walks and three home runs. Junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) led the Gator offense by scoring three of the five runs while going 2-for-3 on the day and senior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) smacked a two-run homer in the fifth to bring Florida within one. Paculba finished the day 2-for-4 with a run to accompany her two RBI.
Morgan Montemayor tallied her 12th win for the Bulldogs (26-4, 7-3 SEC) in six innings of work, allowing nine hits, five runs, one walk and six strikeouts. Alison Owen tossed a hitless, scoreless seventh for Georgia to close out the evening.
Sophomore righty Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) shouldered the loss for the Gators (30-3, 7-2 SEC) by giving up seven hits, 10 runs and10 walks, while striking out four in five innings of work after throwing the first four innings and re-entering in the seventh. Freshman Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) saw time in the circle for the first time this season, tossing two innings between Gammel’s work, allowing two hits, three runs and walking two.
Florida was able to strike first in the rubber match, tallying a run by Moultrie in the first. Moultrie drew a base on balls and then a pair of singles landed her on third. Sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) then hit into a double play, but Moultrie was able to hustle home and put the Gators on the board early, 1-0.
After being held scoreless for the first two, the Bulldogs added three runs in the third inning to give them the 3-1 advantage. Ashley Razey hit a home run off the scoreboard to plate herself and Brianna Hesson, who reached on a fielder’s choice, to tally the first two runs. Kristyn Sandberg then drew a walk and hustled around the bases to come home on a double through the left side by Brittney Hubbard.
Florida answered by netting two runs in the bottom of the third to even the score at three-all. Moultrie sparked the action when she hit a bunt single and advanced on an out by Paculba in foul territory. Bruder then doubled to the center-field wall to score Moultrie and crossed the plate herself when Bush reached on a fielder’s choice.
Georgia again regained the lead in the top of the fourth by adding three when Hesson hit her second home run of the series over the left-field fence, scoring Megan Wiggins and Alisa Goler, who reached on a single and a walk, respectively.
The fifth inning saw Fagan, the 2010 Gatorade National Player of the Year as a pitcher, make her pitching debut for the Orange and Blue, relieving Gammel after four innings of work. Fagan gave up a single to Sandberg, but forced a popup from Hubbard to tally an out. The Gators achieved the final two outs when Laura Trout hit into a 1-6-3 double play, retiring the side and moving to the bottom of the inning, where Florida tallied two runs to bring the Gators within one. Paculba belted her 10th home run of the season over left field to score herself and Moultrie, who reached on a base hit, setting the score at 6-5, in favor of UGA.
Georgia still clung to its one-run lead heading into the seventh after a scoreless sixth inning, but added seven before the inning was over. The Gators gave up four walks, two hits and a sac fly to account for the first four Bulldog runs before Goler knocked in a three-run homer to give Georgia the 13-5 win.
The third and final game of the series will kick off at 1 p.m. from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Fans can tune in live on the radio to 105 ‘The Game’ or follow online via Gametracker by following the link on www.GatorZone.com.