Friday April 29, 2011UF Softball Takes Series Opener, 5-0, at South Carolina
Fifth-ranked Florida held South Carolina to just three hits Friday en route to a 5-0 victory to take the first contest of the three-game series at Beckham Field. Freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) knocked a two-run long ball to center field for UF’s first two runs in the second inning and the Gators put up two runs in the fifth and a final in the seventh as senior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) went 1-for-3 with her 69th and 70th RBI of 2011 to tie former Gator Francesca Enea’s UF single-season RBI record (70), set in 2009. The first baseman is additionally tied for the UF single-season home runs record (20), holds the UF and SEC career home runs record (64) and extended her Florida single season (8) and career (20) sac flies record in the fifth inning against the Gamecocks.
Senior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) went 2-for-4 and junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) was a perfect 2-for-2, rallying for her 17th consecutive game with a hit, UF’s longest active streak, as Florida (41-8, 16-7 SEC) put up nine hits to top the Gamecocks (25-25, 6-17 SEC) in Columbia Friday evening.
Senior righty Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) went three up, three down through the first two frames, and gave up just one hit, working the first 5.0 innings to earn the victory. Brombacher (16-1) walked just three and fanned one before being relieved by freshman righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.), who tossed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, fanning two and walking just one to close out the evening.
Senior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) connected for UF’s first hit of the game at the top of the second frame on a leadoff single up the middle and Coyle finished off the Gators’ early efforts with a two-run bomb to left center, taking UF up, 2-0, with her 11th long ball of the season.
South Carolina put its first hit on the board in the fourth on a Kaitlin Westfall double to right center, but a line out and pop up ended any potential scoring opportunity for the Gamecocks.
Moultrie smacked a double to the center-field fence to start off the top of the fifth for the Orange and Blue, and scored following a Bruder single and a USC fielding error, which allowed Bruder to advance to third as the Gators went up, 3-0. Bush then plated Bruder with her eighth sac fly of the season to give UF the 4-0 advantage after the top of the fifth.
The Gamecocks started a rally in the sixth following a leadoff walk by Samie Garcia and a Hannah Milks single through the right side, followed by a stolen base, but Rogers tossed a strikeout, then forced a foul out and ground out to get the Gators out of the inning.
Florida mustered a fifth and final run in the top of the seventh frame after a Bruder one-out double to left center, as Bush followed suit with a RBI single to drive in Bruder for the 5-0 final, despite a two-out, one-hit rally after a leadoff walk that placed runners on first and second for USC in the bottom of the final stanza. Garcia grounded a soft ball to Bush at first for the unassisted putout, leaving two on for the Gamecocks to conclude the game.
Game two of the series between the Gators and Gamecocks kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on Fox Sports-Florida at 4 p.m., with the call by Larry Vettel and Mary Ratliff. Gator fans can also follow by radio on 105 ‘The Game’ with Adam Schick or with live stats on Gametracker, with all links accessible on www.GatorZone.com/softball,