Wednesday April 4, 2012No. 6 Florida Softball Takes Mid-Week Tilt Over No. 21 FSU, 9-1, in Six Innings
A Florida State-record 1,195 fans gathered at JoAnne Graf Field Wednesday to watch the Florida vs. Florida State softball Sunshine Showdown, a game the No. 6 Gators took 9-1 in six innings from the No. 21 Seminoles, enforcing the eight-run rule for the 13th time this season. The Orange and Blue improved to 32-4 overall on the season and 7-4 against Top-25 competition with the victory.
The Gators put up 11 hits for the second-consecutive game, including four doubles and two homers, scoring nine runs against FSU, the most the Seminoles (33-7) have allowed all season. For Florida, the run-rule victory marked its first since downing South Carolina in five March 16.
Wednesday’s Florida-Florida State softball game was part of the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown Series. Presented by Fresh from Florida, its goal is to remind all fans of the importance of buying home grown and harvested products from Florida. It supports our state’s farmers and fisherman, and our local economies.
Junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI to lead the Gators, while sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) was 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs to power UF’s offensive efforts. Florida poured it on in the third, racking up two doubles and two homers for a six-hit, six-run third frame that all but put the game away for the Gators. Freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) knocked her first career homer donning the Orange and Blue as part of UF’s third-inning splurge, finishing the day with three RBI.
Sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) started hot, fanning two of the first four batters she faced in the first frame, finishing the day with three strikeouts, while giving up just four FSU hits and walking two to improve to 18-2 in the circle this season for the Gators.
Coyle helped swing the Gators in to action, leading off the second with a base hit for the Orange and Blue, poking one through the left side to tie a season-best four-game hit streak. With two outs, junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) delivered a RBI double to plate Coyle and give the Gators a 1-0 lead early, increasing her team-leading reached-base streak to 14 games.
After a scoreless second frame for the home team, sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) turned over the lineup, reaching base for a fourth-consecutive game to set up a monster inning for the Orange and Blue. Next up, senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) laid down a bunt single for runners on first and second with no outs to set up S. Fagan’s three-run dinger. With one out on the board after a FSU strikeout, Coyle struck with her third double of the season, roping one to left-center for her second in as many games, setting up UF’s next blast from Horton, her team-leading 10th of the year, which extended the Florida lead, 6-0.
After a freshman Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) one-out walk, the Seminoles opted to trade starter Monica Perry for Lacey Waldrop in the circle. Gammel then reached on a fielder’s choice, just before freshman Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) got in on the action, knocking her third double of the year to send Gammel scampering home for a 7-0 Gator advantage.
Florida State scratched a run across in the bottom of the fourth when Kelly Hensley connected for a RBI double down the left-field line, enabling Courtney Senas to scamper home from second for the Seminoles’ lone run of the contest.
The Orange and Blue countered in the fifth, however, making it an 8-1 ballgame when Horton was able to score from third on FSU’s third error of the match-up that allowed Medina to reach base. A groundout retired the side and a three up, three down inning for FSU in the bottom of the fifth brought up the sixth where the Gators put the game away for good on a Horton RBI double for a 9-1 Florida lead.
Rogers and the Gator defense retired the Seminoles in order in the bottom of the sixth to enforce the eight-run rule for the 13th time this season, winning 9-1 in Tallahassee. Perry was charged the loss for FSU, moving to 15-3 on the season.
The Gators return to the diamond this weekend for a three-game set with Ole Miss April 6-8 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The Gators are 33-7 all-time against the Rebels and will look to add to their 17-2 record at home against Ole Miss. Game times are 6 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
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 Gametracker 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.