Wednesday April 20, 2011No. 8 Florida Launches Three Home Runs in 8-1 Rout of UCF
No. 8 Florida softball used three home runs to defeat UCF, 8-1, on Wednesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. SEC Player of the Week senior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) went 2-for-3 on the night, garnering three runs, including her 15th homer of the season, a triple and three RBI. Sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) added a three-run bomb of her own in the third and freshman Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) added a solo shot in the fourth.
Freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned her 23rd win for the Gators (38-7, 13-6 SEC) while only allowing three hits, one run and one walk while striking out three in 4.2 innings of work. Senior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came on in for relief in the fifth and struck out three while allowing two hits and no runs to close out the final 2.1 innings.
An hour-long weather delay prior to the start of the game did not affect the Orange and Blue, as they tallied two runs in the first. A triple off the center-field wall by Bruder brought home classmate Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.), who drew a walk to reach base, taking the Gators up, 2-0, immediately.
UCF used two hits in the second to add a run of their own. Tiffany Lane singled up the middle and stole second to put herself in scoring position. A double by Tawny Swan sent Lane home with two outs on the board, but a line out by the subsequent batter retired the side.
After holding the Knights scoreless in the top half of the third, the Gators were able to add three to their lead with a round-tripper by Schutte. Junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by UCF’s catcher. Although Paculba was unable to reach base, Bruder walked and Moultrie moved to third on a passed ball. Both runners crossed the plate when Schutte sent her 15th homer of the season to right center, netting three RBI and posting a lead of 5-1.
The fourth inning played out like the third, with Florida garnering three more runs after UCF was unable to land on base in the top of the inning. Fagan started the momentum with a solo bomb to center field, her second consecutive game with a home run. Paculba, who drew a base on balls, was able to come home again on a hit by Bruder, this time a home run to right field for her 15th long ball of the year.
Brombacher entered to relieve Rogers after 4.2 innings of work. The righty continued to keep the Knights to one run and caught Allie Jest swinging for the final out in the fifth. After holding UCF hitless in the sixth, Brombacher opened the seventh by catching Lane swinging and had the next batter hit into a ground out. Patrice Fee threatened when she hit a double to left field, but Brombacher forced a pop-up to Paculba at second to end the game.
Florida hosts No.3/4 Alabama for a three-game series this weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The weekend is softball’s Cancer Awareness Weekend and will feature “Swinging for the Cure”, a home run derby where past and present Gator athletes will compete. The event will take place after the conclusion of Saturday’s game and fans will be able to make pledges to Shands Brain Tumor Research Department towards the cause. Action begins Friday at 5 p.m. ,with game two at 4 p.m. Saturday and game three at 1 p.m. Sunday. Fans can watch Friday’s game live on GatorVision, Saturday’s game on ESPN2 and Sunday’s on ESPN, in addition to listening live with Adam Schick and Kristina Hilberth on 105 “The Game”. Live stats will also be available on Gametracker via GatorZone.com.