Thursday May 12, 2011Softball Eliminated by Auburn, 6-2, in First Round of 2011 SEC Tournament
The Gator softball team couldn’t overcome an Auburn Tigers team that jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning of UF's opening-round game at the 2011 SEC Softball Tournament in Oxford Thursday. The seven seed and No. 23 Tigers topped the second-seeded Gators, 6-2, in the fourth meeting between the two squads this season, to advance to the semifinals of the tournament Friday as No. 3 UF moved to 47-9 this season.
Freshman Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and senior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth on a RBI single, but three Auburn runs in the fifth gave the Tigers a five-run lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Florida added a second run in the seventh after Fagan sent a single up the middle to drive in freshman Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.), who reached after drawing a walk.
Senior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) got the start for the Gators, giving up three runs, just one earned, on two hits to tally the loss (17-2). Freshman Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) came on for 6.0 innings, allowing just three runs on six hits. Angel Bunner picked up the win for the Tigers after 4.0 innings of work, as she gave up just one run and three Gator hits.
Senior Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) rallied for an impressive double play, snagging a lineout in the air, followed by an unassisted tag at second base in the sixth inning for two immediate outs. Florida tallied six hits on the afternoon, including a bunt single by junior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), her 17th bunt single of the season.
Florida had runners on first and second to start the game after a Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) single through the right side following Moultrie’s base hit, but the Gators couldn’t punch in a run. The Gators held Auburn hitless and scoreless in the second and gave up one hit each in the third and fourth frames.
Schutte drew a leadoff walk in Florida’s fourth frame and Coyle connected for a one-out single to right field, allowing DeFelice to knock and RBI single down the left-field line, plating Schutte. A double play ended the stanza, but not before UF narrowed the margin, 3-1.
Auburn rallied for three runs in the fifth, with two on a Kyndall White two-RBI double. A Lauren Guzman RBI single plated the final run of the inning as Auburn carried a 6-1 lead through a scoreless sixth for both teams to the seventh inning. Fagan sent Coyle across home with two outs and one last rally in the bottom of the seventh for the Gators, but Auburn pulled off the upset.
Florida was last eliminated in the first round of the SEC Tournament in 2006, when Tennessee topped the Gators, 6-0, as Georgia played host to the event. The Gators moved to 17-22 all-time in the SEC Tournament and are now 27-15 all-time against Auburn.
The Gators will now wait for the 2011 NCAA Selection Show in determining their seeding in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The show will air Sunday from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on ESPNU. For all updates and information about the tournament, visit www.GatorZone.com/softball Sunday evening and Monday morning.