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Sunday March 25, 2012No. 4 Gator Softball Sweeps Razorbacks Sunday, 5-0

Fayetteville, Ark.

The No. 4 Florida softball team made it five-straight sweeps over the Razorbacks Sunday with a 5-0 victory at Bogle Park to wrap up the three-game set. Junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) went 2-for-2 with one run and a RBI, senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 2-for-3 with three runs and a RBI and freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) was 3-for-4 on the day.

 

Moultrie carried the Gators through the weekend, going 8-for-11 (.727) with three doubles and two homers, good for a 1.545 slugging percentage and .750 on-base mark. Throughout the three-game set, Florida rallied for six doubles and four home runs, while scoring 14 runs, compared to Arkansas’ two. Not far behind, Haeger went 7-for-10 in Fayetteville (.700) with a double, her team-leading ninth of the 2012 season, and a homer to complete the series.

 

Freshman righty Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) earned the start in the circle for the Orange and Blue Sunday, while sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) came on in relief in the bottom of the third. Bache worked the first two innings, allowing three hits and walking two with no runs, while Rogers worked the final five innings to earn the win and improve to 16-1 on the year with six strikeouts, while walking three and allowing two hits to complete the game.

 

Florida jumped out of the gates early Sunday with a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, thanks to a Haeger base hit that sent Moultrie scampering for home after connecting for a one-out single of her own.

 

After giving up two hits and walking one to load the bags in the bottom half of the first, Bache worked her way out of a jam, forcing a pop up and a line out for the final two outs to halt the Arkansas threat in the first frame.

 

The Gators continued to produce in the second inning, as Horton led off with her fourth double of the year to get things started, while classmate Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) drew a walk. Next up, sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) dropped a sac bunt to advance both runners into scoring position. A Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) fly out put two outs on the board, spurring a Razorback pitching change from Chelsea Cohen to Kimmy Beasley in the circle, but turned the Florida lineup over.

 

A Beasley wild pitch allowed Horton to race home from third for the 2-0 advantage and a pop up ended the inning, but not before the Gators added to their lead.

 

After a three-up, three-down performance for Bache in the bottom of the second, UF added a run with a Moultrie solo shot in the third frame, her second homer in as many days, making it eight for UF’s only senior this year. The Razorbacks were persistent in the bottom half of the inning, drawing a leadoff walk, followed by a base hit, as the Gators opted to bring in Rogers to finish it out.

 

The righty forced a pop up to Damico at second before fanning two Razorback batters swinging to bring up the fourth, but after a scoreless fourth stanza for both squads, Florida tacked on another run thanks to a Horton RBI single through the left side to plate freshman Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.), pinch running for Haeger, to extend the lead, 4-0, in favor of the Orange and Blue.

 

The Hogs loaded the bags again in the bottom of the fifth with three walks, but Florida was able to escape after Rogers forced a pop-up to sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) at short.

 

A quick sixth inning brought up the seventh and final stanza, where UF added an insurance run on a Coyle groundout that plated Moultrie for the 7-0 win.

 

Chelsea Cohen (11-9), Friday and Saturday’s starter for the Razorbacks, also earned the nod Sunday and shouldered the loss after 1.2 innings, allowing UF’s first two runs on three hits. Cohen walked one and had no strikeouts before Kimmy Beasley came on to finish the game for Arkansas. Beasley gave up six hits, three Gator runs, walked three and fanned four in through the final 5.1 innings.

 

The Gators will return to the diamond Wednesday for a mid-week tilt with USF in the second meeting between the two teams this season. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the contest will air live on FS Florida. The Bulls and Gators met earlier this year Feb. 12 in Tampa as part of the USF Fairfield Inn & Suites Tampa North Tournament, a game the Gators won 3-2 in eight innings for their first extra-innings victory of the season.

 

After hosting the Bulls Wednesday, Florida will head to Athens for a weekend series at Georgia March 30-April 1.

 

For all game notes, stats and recaps, be sure to visit www.GatorZone.com/softball following every game this season. Gator fans can follow Florida’s competition this year through online stats, on GatorVision.tv and live locally and online on the radio at WYGC-104.9, 105 The Game, with the call by play-by-play announcer Adam Schick and color analyst Megan Bush.

 

Links for all live action are available at GatorZone.com. For in-game updates on all the action, follow the Gators on Twitter @GatorZoneSBall and check UF’s official softball Facebook page HERE for updates on competition.

 

 

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