Sunday April 10, 2011Bush Stakes Claim Over SEC Career Home Runs Record; Gator Softball Downs Arkansas, 8-0, for Series Sweep
Senior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) hit one of Florida’s four homers Sunday, sending a long ball over the left-field fence in the bottom of the third inning to eclipse the SEC’s career home-run record (61), establishing the new mark, 62. For Bush, the bomb marked her 18th round-tripper of the season as the Gators downed Arkansas, 8-0, in six innings at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Sunday for the series sweep. An Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) solo shot to left field gave Florida its first run of the game and the Gators wouldn’t look back as homers from freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) and senior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) propelled UF’s offensive efforts.
Bush additionally tallied her sixth sacrifice fly of the season in the fourth inning, tying her school-record mark (6), established last season. Florida connected for seven hits on the day, scattering one each in the first, third and sixth frames, while putting up five in the fourth, and also drawing seven walks. The Gators were aggressive on the base paths, including two steals from sophomore Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) as the Orange and Blue chalked up its fifth series sweep over the Razorbacks all-time.
Following a career-best performance Saturday, freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) returned Sunday, working 6.0 innings, giving up just two hits, while fanning seven and walking just two. Rogers (19-5) went three up, three down in the top of the first inning to bring up the bottom of the frame, enabling Paculba to knock her long ball over the left-field fence on a 0-2 count to take the Gators up, 1-0, early. After a one-hit, but scoreless second inning for both squads, Florida tacked on its second run on Bush’s 62nd career bomb to left field. Bush surpassed 2010 Gator senior Francesca Enea’s 61 career homers to establish new UF and league records.
Rogers went three up, three down via two strikeouts and a groundout in the fourth, bringing up the bottom of the stanza, when UF made a statement with five runs, started by a Moultrie double to right field. Next up, Paculba reached on an Arkansas fielding error and Bruder drew her sole walk of the game to chase starter Layne McGuirt from the circle in favor of Hope McLemore. Bush smacked a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Moultrie and a Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) single down the left-field line brought Paculba home and allowed Bruder to take third following a Razorback throwing error. Next up, Coyle delivered Florida’s third homer of the day, a three-run long ball to left field to clear the bases, finishing the five-run, three-hit barrage that took the Orange and Blue up, 7-0.
Both Florida and Arkansas went three up, three down in the fifth inning, but a Becca Carden single and Courtney Breault walk put runners on first and second for the Razorbacks with two outs. Rogers finished, catching Amanda Geile swinging, to halt any scoring opportunities.
The Gators enforced the run rule in the sixth when Bruder, Florida’s leadoff batter in the inning, clocked her 11th homer to over the right-field fence to conclude the game with UF’s eighth run.
McGuirt (2-8) tossed the first 3.0 in the circle for the Razorbacks, giving up five runs on four hits, while walking seven, as the pitcher of record when UF went ahead. McLemore came on in relief, throwing the final 2.0, surrendering the Gators’ final three runs on three hits. The duo combined for just six Ks on the day.
Florida returns to the diamond Wednesday at home for a mid-week tilt with in-state opponent FIU. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Gator fans can follow live video feed at GatorVision.tv, live stats online via Gametracker or listen live on the radio at WYGC-FM 104.9, 105 ‘The Game’, with the call by Adam Schick and Kristina Hilberth.