Sunday April 17, 2011No. 10 Softball Uses 16 Hits, UF Single-Game Record Eight Homers in 13-4 Series Sweep Over Auburn
Florida connected on a season-high 16 hits and smashed a new UF single-game record eight home runs en route to a series sweep with a 13-4 victory over Auburn at the AU Softball Complex Sunday. Senior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) and sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) each smashed two out of the park, while seniors Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) each tallied round-trippers as well. Sophomore Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) and freshman Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) made contact for back to back bombs in the third inning, accounting for three of UF’s five runs in the third stanza.
The Gators (37-7, 13-6 SEC) now own 89 homers on the season, 43 in Southeastern Conference play. On the weekend, UF dropped 15. UF tallied 35 runs on 40 hits in the three-game league series. Coyle led Florida with a .714 batting clip, going 5-for-7 with seven runs, three homers and five RBI, while Bruder also connected for three bombs and five RBI. Fagan clocked two doubles and a homer, finishing 4-for-7 (.571) in the series against Auburn (32-12, 11-9 SEC).
Freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) worked the full 6.0, fanning four and allowing four runs, three earned , on nine hits with three walks to earn the win. Rogers improved to 22-5 on the season, while Jenee Loree (9-4) shouldered the loss for Auburn, giving up Florida’s first two runs, a lead the Gators wouldn’t relinquish.
Florida put two runs up in the first and second thanks to two-run bombs, started by Bruder first-pitch homer to right field, her 14th of the season, driving in Moultrie and herself after Moultrie reached on a single that ricochet off pitcher Jenee Loree’s ankle. After the Tigers traded in Loree for Lauren Schmalz at the top of the second inning, Paculba tagged a bomb to left center to score herself and Fagan, who smacked a leadoff double to right field to start the second stanza for the Orange and Blue.
After continuing to hold the Tigers scoreless, Florida kicked off the third with it’s third two-run shot, this time from Horton, who drove in Coyle after the freshman reached base on balls. Up next, Fagan clocked a solo homer, but the Gators didn’t halt at three runs in the third as Bruder proceeded to connect on a two-out single to left field, setting up a Schutte long ball to left center that put UF up, 9-0.
With the Gators threatening the eight-run run rule, Auburn put its first three runs on the board on three hits in the bottom half of the fourth. The first two came on an Eisterhold double that plated Havromat and then Stephens, who reached via a base hit and hit-by-pitch, respectively, to narrow the margin, 9-2. With bases then loaded following a walk and single and with the top of AU’s lineup up, Estell drew a walk to bring Eisterhold across home for the final run of the frame for the Tigers, but Florida still held the 9-2 advantage.
Florida was able to put up two more runs in the top of the fifth, thanks to Paculba and Schutte solo homers, the second of the day for each, as UF took an 11-2 lead into the bottom of the stanza. Auburn added one on a Murphy single that brought Guzman across home as the short stop led off with a double to right field.
The long balls kept coming for the Gators as DeFelice led off the top of the sixth with a homer to left field, her second in as many days, giving UF an eight-run lead, good for the run rule, but sophomore Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) came across home to add UF’s 13th and final run of the day, resulting the series sweep for the Orange and Blue.
The Gators will return home to Gainesville for a mid-week match-up with in-state opponent UCF at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Wednesday, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. (ET). The Gators are 10-2 all-time against the Knights and boast a 5-2 record at home. Florida has won four-straight in the series history, with its last loss coming at home May 18, 2008 – a 1-0, eight-inning victory for UCF. Following the UCF tilt, the Gators will play host to conference rival Alabama April 22-24. The Gators and Tide will continue the rivalry in a three-game weekend series, with games two and three Saturday and Sunday being broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN, respectively. Gator fans unable to attend can also follow online via Gametracker or tune in on the radio to 105 ‘The Game’ locally. In the series between the two league foes, Alabama holds the all-time advantage, 25-19, over UF, while also holding the edge in Gainesville, 11-7. For all the latest information, updates and promotions on Gator softball, visit www.GatorZone.com/softball.