Friday April 6, 2012No. 6 Gator Softball Blanks Ole Miss, 5-0, to Take Series Opener
Florida sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) tossed a two-hit shutout, her eighth complete-game shutout of the season, as the No. 6 Florida softball team took its series opener against Ole Miss, 5-0, Friday in front of an Orange and Blue-clad crowd of 1,213 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators (33-4, 13-2 SEC) scattered runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to top the Rebels (16-19, 3-9 SEC), aided by freshman Bailey Castro’s (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) 2-for-3 performance, including her second blast of the season in the sixth inning. Sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) finished with two RBI on the evening to account for Florida’s two fourth-inning runs, while sister Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) knocked a RBI double in the third stanza, swiped third and crossed home on a wild pitch to also score one of UF’s five runs.
For UF, Friday’s shutout marked its18th of the season and the Gators’ sixth in league play.
Rogers retired six Ole Miss batters by strikeout, walked three and allowed just two Rebel hits through Friday’s match-up to improve to 19-2 on the year. The Gators’ ace had a one-hitter through six, giving up a second Rebel hit in the top of the seventh. Ole Miss hurler Kendall Bruning moved to 12-10 on the season with the loss, allowing six Florida hits, five runs and walking one, while fanning three Gator hitters. Sophomore RT Cantillo and junior Erinn Jayjohn accounted for the Rebels’ two hits in the clash.
After senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on a Rebel fielding error in the third inning and advanced to second on a passed ball, S. Fagan sent UF’s lone senior scampering for home with her fifth double of the season to take the Gators up, 1-0. S. Fagan then proceeded to swipe third, her 10th stolen base of the season, before scoring on a Bruning wild pitch to take the Orange and Blue up, 2-0, heading to the fourth.
Cantillo led off with a base hit for Ole Miss in the top of the fourth frame, then Londen Ladner drew a walk, enabling Allison Brown to bunt both into scoring position. The Rebels couldn’t capitalize after Rogers struck with a strikeout and forced a pop up to retire the side and halt the threat.
Florida added two to its lead in the bottom of the fourth when K. Fagan sent a two-RBI base hit to right center, plating junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.), who drew a leadoff walk, and junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.), who reached base for the 15th consecutive game when she poked a one-out single through the right side. Freshman Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) laid down a sac bunt to move both Horton and Gammel into scoring position before K. Fagan sent both home, coming up with a base hit for her career-best fifth-consecutive game to extend the Gator lead, 4-0.
Castro added an insurance run for the Gators in the sixth, lifting a bomb over the center-field fence for the 5-0 Florida lead heading to the seventh and final inning. Jayjohn spoiled Rogers’ one-hitter with a leadoff base hit up the middle in the top of the seventh, but a strikeout, fielder’s choice and groundout gave the Orange and Blue its 13th league victory.
The Gators and Rebels will do it again Saturday in the second game of the series, with first pitch set for 2:30 p.m. from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Florida will be looking to clinch the series for its sixth-straight SEC series win, having won all five up to this point in league play.
Gator fans can catch Saturday and Sunday’s games live on GatorVision.tv or tune in live locally or online to 104.9, 105 The Game, with the call by Gator play-by-play Adam Schick and analysis from former UF All-American Megan Bush.
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.