Friday April 8, 2011No. 10 Gator Softball Defeats Arkansas, 4-0, in Series Opener Friday
The No. 10 Florida softball team tallied its 18th shutout of the season against Arkansas, 4-0, in a game that saw four different Gator players contribute runs for the Orange and Blue in the series opener against the Razorbacks at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Friday. Sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) knocked a solo home run over the right-field fence in the sixth, while seniors Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif), Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) and junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) all went 2-for-3 in the game, with Paculba garnering a three-RBI double in the bottom of the second inning.
Freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Winter Haven, Fla.) worked the full 7.0 for the Gators (31-7, 8-6 SEC), fanning four Razorbacks, while only allowing five hits and no runs or walks to improve to 17-5 on the season. Hope McLemore (4-10) shouldered the loss for Arkansas (10-30, 1-16 SEC) in the circle, giving up four Gator runs on nine hits and one walk, while tallying three Ks.
In the first two innings, Rogers struck out three of the six batters she faced, going three-up and three-down in both innings to keep the Razorbacks scoreless. The righty did not allow a hit until the third.
Florida tallied three runs in the second, fueled by a three RBI double by Paculba. DeFelice led off with a double to left center, the freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) drew a walk and Moultrie reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Paculba smacked the ball to the left-center wall, allowing all three Gators to hustle around the bases and give Florida the 3-0 lead.
Arkansas threatened to add a run in the sixth after a Gator defensive error and two Razorback hits, but the UF defense kept the Razorbacks off the board. With one out, Linnea Ketcher reached on an error but was tagged out at second when Schutte threw from right field to Coyle at shortstop when Ketcher tried to advance on a single by Courtney Breault. Jayme Gee added a single of her own to left center, but both runners tried to advance and Gee was tagged out at second after senior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) threw a bomb to Coyle at short stop, who connected with Paculba who enforced the tag at the base.
The Orange and Blue tallied their fourth and final run in the bottom of the sixth when Schutte led off with her 12th home run of the season over the right-field fence. The Gators held the Razorbacks scoreless after three-consecutive groundouts to solidify the 4-0 series opener.
Florida and Arkansas return to action Saturday for the second game of the series at 4 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Gator fans can follow on the radio at WYGC-104.9, ‘105 The Game’ with Adam Schick and Kristina Hilberth calling the action, keep up online with live stats on Gametracker or watch the live video feed on GatorVision.tv. All three links can be found at www.GatorZone.com/softball, while complete stats and a recap will be available following the action.