Friday March 2, 2012Gator Softball Cruises to Two Shutout Victories Over Eastern Michigan and Gardner-Webb Friday
The No. 3/4 Florida softball team used 16-0 and 9-0 five-inning, run-rule shutout victories over Eastern Michigan (2-10) and Gardner-Webb (7-9) Friday to go 2-0 on the first day of the 2012 Lipton Invitational at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. As a team, the Gators hit .500, racking up 25 runs on 23 hits, including three doubles, a triple and four home runs. Eleven Gators tallied at least one hit throughout Friday’s games, while seven connected for two or more hits on the day.
Two freshmen hurlers tallied wins for the Orange and Blue in the circle, both going the distance in each contest, as first year Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) (2-0) chalked up the win over Eastern Michigan with a three-hit shutout, walking just one and fanning four in the effort. Classmate Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) (5-1) earned her fifth win of the season, tying a season and career-best 11 strikeouts with a four-hit shutout against Gardner-Webb in the nightcap.
Senior Michelle Moultrie was a double shy of hitting through the cycle in UF’s afternoon tilt with Eastern Michigan, as the Jacksonville product connected for a team-best five hits Friday (.714), including a team-high two long balls and a triple to go with a 1.857 slugging percentage , four RBI and five runs scored.
The Gators improved to 16-1 on the season after Friday’s slate, scoring a 2012-high 16 runs against the Eagles in the first game of the doubleheader, with a season-tying 14 hits.
Haeger and junior Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) led UF with 3-for-4 efforts at the plate, a .750 batting clip, while Schutte rallied for three hits, including a double and a homer for a team-high five RBI on the evening, while Haeger produced two doubles for the Gators. Like Moultrie, Schutte was just one hit – a triple – shy of a cycle in the clash with the EMU.
Florida first tangled with Eastern Michigan at 4:30 p.m., scattering multiple runs in all four innings which the squad batted, including three in the first and second, six in the third and four in the fourth. Eight Gators had at least one hit behind Schutte’s 3-for-3 performance, while Moultrie was close behind, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Starter Lindsay Rich was charged the loss for the Eagles after giving up Florida’s first five runs and hits. Two of Florida’s three doubles, along with Moultrie’s triple and one of her two shots came against EMU.
Bache had a one-hitter through four innings against Eastern Michigan, but the Eagles connected for two two-out hits in the fifth and final frame, resulting in a three-hit shutout in the books for the righty.
Florida kept its offensive surge going in the second game of the doubleheader and came out of the gates swinging against Gardner-Webb to put a four spot up in the first inning after holding the Runnin’ Bulldogs scoreless on one hit in the top of the frame. GWU’s Melinda Dulkowski tallied the second hit of the night for the Bulldogs in the second, but Florida tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the inning, started by a Moultrie homer – her second of the day. Junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) then went yard with a two-run shot that took Florida up, 7-0.
After a hitless, scoreless third for Gardner-Webb, the Orange and Blue added two final runs in the bottom of the stanza when freshman Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) scored on a Jessica Milligan wild pitch, followed by a sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) RBI single through the left side that sealed the deal for the Gators after Haeger held the Runnin’ Bulldogs scoreless fourth and fifth frames.
GWU starter Alyssa Gutierrez (2-4) took the loss after working the first 2.0 and giving up seven runs on eight hits, while fanning just one Gator and walking two. UF then saw Milligan and Cindy Boomhower, who each tossed one inning in the contest.
For the second day of the Lipton Invite, the Gators will host back to back games against Gardner-Webb at noon, followed by Florida’s first-ever meeting with the Tennessee State Tigers at 2:15 p.m.
Tennessee State topped Campbell, 6-1, to kick off the Lipton Invite Friday, while the Camels rebounded in game two to down Eastern Michigan, 5-0. Next up in the third game of Friday’s slate, Gardner-Webb battled it out with TSU to pull out an 8-6 victory, while Florida’s doubleheader completed the first five games of the Lipton Invite schedule. For a complete tournament schedule, all box scores and UF’s recaps, click here.
All games this weekend will have live, online statistics through GameTracker, while each Florida match-up will be broadcast live locally and online at 104.9-FM, 105 The Game, with the call by Mike Gillespie and former Gator All-American Megan Bush.
For in-game updates, follow the Gators on Twitter @GatorZoneSBall and visit Florida on Facebook under University of Florida Softball, the official UF Softball Facebook page.