Sunday March 4, 2012Gator Softball Blanks Campbell to Cap Off Undefeated Lipton Invitational
No. 3/4 UF softball used two Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) RBI and a senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) inside-the-park home run to down the Campbell Fighting Camels, 4-0, in its final contest of Florida’s home-hosted Lipton Invitational. Florida went 5-0 in the tournament and 6-0 on the weekend after defeating Eastern Michigan Thursday evening prior to the start of tourney play.
The Gators improved to 19-1 on the 2012 season with the win over CU, just three days before opening 2012 Southeastern Conference play. Florida head coach Tim Walton improved to 350-81 (.812) all-time at the helm of the Gator softball program with UF’s win over Campbell. Walton will lead UF into league action at Mississippi State Wednesday with a mid-week doubleheader March 7, followed by a three-game weekend series at No. 9/8 Tennessee.
Moultrie and Horton led the Gators throughout the last week of play, Moultrie with 12 hits, a .600 batting clip, two triples, four homers, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored, while Horton finished Florida’s last six games 8-for-14 (.571) with a double, four homers – including a grand slam – 14 total RBI, six runs scored and four walks.
Florida out-scored its opponents 53-1 on 54 hits and rallied for six doubles, two triples and 11 bombs. As a team, UF drew 30 walks, swiped 12-of-13 bags and collaborated for a .386 batting clip.
For the second time in the Lipton Invitational tournament, Moultrie’s power and speed shined with an inside-the-park homer, as the senior sent a ball sky high that dropped in deep right center, allowing her quickness to carry her home. Horton’s bat, still hot from a three-homer performance Saturday, got the Gators on the board first with a dart down the third-base line that scored Moultrie. The All-American centerfielder reached base on a two-out bunt single, her specialty, in the first frame, swiped second and scored on Horton’s RBI single.
An Arnn wild pitch in the third inning gave UF its second run of the contest when freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) scored for the Orange and Blue. A speedy S. Fagan led off with a bunt single of her own, while a junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) moved her to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and a Moultrie groundout sent the first-year Gator to third. A hit-by-pitch for freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) with two outs put runners on the corners as the pressure mounted for Campbell’s Brittany Arnn, whose ensuing wild pitch sent Haeger to second and Fagan home, allowing UF to take a 2-0 lead.
Next up, Horton connected for her second hit of the tilt Sunday, a double to left center that knocked in Haeger for the 3-0 advantage. A hitless, scoreless fourth for both squads brought up the fifth, and after the Gators retired the Camels in order, Moultrie struck in the bottom half of the stanza with her leadoff inside-the-parker for the final Gator run of the contest.
Sophomore Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) worked for UF in the circle, tossing a three-hit shutout, allowing a CU bloop double the very first play of the game, but retired 15 straight until the top of the sixth inning. Rogers finished the afternoon with eight strikeouts in the complete-game effort for her 10th victory of the 2012 season.
Campbell strung together a two-hit sixth inning late rally, started by a Christina Melton single up the middle, but an eager and aggressive move with one out proved to be costly for the Camels. With Melton’s pinch runner Kerstine Womack on first, leadoff batter Sarah Forgacs doubled to left field spurring Womack to scamper home from first, but UF’s relay from sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) in left to classmate Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) at short made it to Horton at home plate in time for the tag on Womack to prevent the run. Forgacs advanced to third on the relay, but Rogers forced a groundout for the third and final out to retire the side and prevent further scoring opportunities.
Arnn tossed the full 6.0 for the Camels, giving up six Gator hits and all four runs, while walking for and retiring one Gator by strikeout.
The Orange and Blue will open up the Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule this week with a Wednesday doubleheader at Mississippi State, followed by a three-game road swing at Tennessee March 9-11 in Knoxville. For all information leading up to conference play, including links for live stats, recaps and box scores, stay posted to www.GatorZone.com/softball, follow the Gators on Twitter @GatorZoneSBall and visit UF on Facebook under University of Florida Softball, the official UF Softball Facebook page.
In addition to live stats, all five of UF’s conference-opening games in the next week will be broadcast live locally and online at 104.9-FM, 105 The Game, with the call by Mike Gillespie.