Friday February 24, 2012Florida Softball Adds Two Victories Friday Over BYU and No. 8 Texas
Palm Springs, Calif.
Palm Springs, Calif.
Junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) and sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) both homered twice Friday as the Florida softball team cruised to 3-0 and 5-1 victories over BYU and No. 8 Texas, respectively, on the second day of the Cathedral City Classic at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Palm Springs.
The Gators improved to 12-1 on the season, while sophomore Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) and freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) earned wins in the circle to improve to 7-0 and 4-1, respectively, while freshman hurler Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) tallied her first save of the season with an inning of hitless, scoreless work – including two strikeouts – to close out the first game of the afternoon against the Cougars.
After two scoreless innings against BYU (8-5), Gammel led off the top of the third for the Gators, smacking just her third career homer with a full count to put Florida on the board with a 1-0 lead and no outs on the board. The Gators had several more chances to strike in the inning with a Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) double and Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) sac bunt, followed by a Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) walk and stolen base to place both Fagans in scoring position, but a fielder’s choice and pitching change resulted in a ground out to halt the Gator scoring.
Haeger sat BYU’s next three batters down in order, bringing up the top of the fourth, allowing Florida to add two to the score with after junior Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) base hit set up a Coyle two-run shot, her team-leading fourth of the season, to give the Gators what would be the final 3-0 victory.
BYU used three pitchers in the match-up, starting Hannah Howell (4-2), who took the loss, and followed with Caroline Umphlett and Tori Almond, who contributed a combined four innings before Howell came in to finish what she started. The Cougar pitching staff collaborated to fan six Gators, while giving up four hits and three runs.
The Cougars threatened in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Haeger worked her way out of a jam in the sixth with the bags loaded after a smart play by Coyle at the plate on a fielder’s choice to prevent a run from scoring, while Haeger fanned Jenna Goar swinging to get out of the inning.
A leadoff base hit in the bottom of the seventh for pinch hitter Katie Manuma spurred a change from Haeger to Bache in the circle. Bache fanned Lacey Millet and Jessica Dugas, while forcing a Bailie Hicken ground out to complete the Gator victory for the first save of the season for the Orange and Blue.
In Haeger’s 6.0 innings worked, the righty gave up just five hits and walked two for her second shutout, this time combined with Bache, of the 2012 season. Florida now has six shutouts on the year.
In the second game of UF’s Friday doubleheader, the Gators chalked up their second victory over a Top 15 program this season, downing No. 8 Texas, 5-1, thanks in part to Coyle and Gammel homers for two runs in the fourth frame.
Florida wasted no time getting an aggressive start, putting up the first score of the game in the first inning on a Haeger sacrifice fly that plated classmate S. Fagan, who led off with a base hit to left center, followed by senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) walk.
After the Gators’ initial run, the Longhorns knotted the game at one-all after a two-hit second frame, but the Taylor Thom run would be Texas’ only as Coyle and Gammel made it a 3-1 Gator lead in the fourth with the Coyle and Gammel long balls, while adding two in the top of the fifth.
Haeger sent a RBI double to left center to again score S. Fagan, who reached base on a bunt single, for the 4-1 Florida advantage and a Schutte sacrifice fly plated Moultrie for Florida’s fifth run of the afternoon after Moultrie singled and moved to third on Haeger’s double.
The Gators held the Longhorns to just one hit from the fifth inning on to limit any potential scoring opportunities. Rogers fanned three Texas student-athletes in the bottom of the fifth through the seventh inning to contribute to her eight strikeouts on the day. Rogers gave up just four hits and one run, which wasn’t earned, while walking zero and fanning eight.
Florida put up seven hits, to Texas’ four, while Nadia Taylor led the Longhorns with a 2-for-3 performance against the Orange and Blue.
S. Fagan was 2-for-4 for Florida, while five other Gators tallied hits from the top of UF’s lineup all the way to the bottom.
Texas starter Kim Bruins (2-1) was charged the loss after giving up UF’s first three runs on three hits in the first 3.2 innings before Rachel Fox came in for the final 3.1. The duo struck out just five Florida batters, while giving up five earned runs.
Florida will do it again Saturday with its final match up of the Cathedral City Classic slated for 12:30 p.m. (ET) against the team from Boise State before heading back to the Sunshine State for a Thursday match-up with Eastern Michigan and its home-hosted tournament, the Lipton Invitational March 2-4.
Follow the Gators live online with GameTracker by visiting www.GatorZone.com/softball, listen live locally and online to 104.9 FM, 105 The Game, with the call by Mike Gillespie and Megan Bush and follow Florida softball on Twitter @GatorZoneSBall for in-game updates.