Saturday April 7, 2012No. 6 Gator Softball Clinches Sixth-Consecutive SEC Series With 9-1 Run-Rule Over Ole Miss
The No. 6 Florida softball team clinched its sixth-consecutive Southeastern Conference series with a five-inning, 9-1 triumph against the visiting Ole Miss Rebels in front of a season-high 1,457 Gator fans at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) roped a RBI triple and laid down a bunt single to lead the Gators with a 2-for-3 performance to contribute to UF’s five hits on the day. The Orange and Blue capitalized on seven free passes and had no Ks at the dish on the afternoon as the Gators tallied their 14th run-rule victory of the campaign.
Florida sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) improved to 20-2 on the campaign, tossing four innings—starting the game with three hitless frames—and surrendering a single run and two hits while punching out three Rebels. Freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) came on for the final frame, fanning one and allowing one Rebel hit that was lost in the sun.
The Orange and Blue wasted no time getting on the board to put the game out of reach early with a three-hit six-run first inning to take a 6-0 lead heading to the second. With bases loaded after a senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) walk, a S. Fagan bunt single and a Haeger walk, sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) reached on a free pass to send UF’s first run of the game across home, while a junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) ground out brought UF’s second score across the dish with just one out on the board.
The Gators rode the momentum, as freshman Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) loaded the bags again with Florida’s fourth walk of the inning. Next up, junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) sent a sac fly to left field to plate Haeger for the 3-0 lead. Freshman Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) got in on the action, roping a two RBI double to right center – her fourth of the year – before sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) extended her career-best hit streak to six games with a RBI single through the right side for the Gators’ sixth run of the first stanza. K. Fagan then advanced to second on the throw and swiped third for her seventh stolen base of the season before a fly out ended UF’s scoring splurge.
After Medina’s double, the Rebels opted to exchange starter Erinn Jayjohn for Kelly Chandler, who finished the game for Ole Miss. Jayjohn moved to 3-8 with the defeat, lasting two-thirds of an inning after giving up six runs on two hits and four walks. Chandler went the final 3.1 innings, giving up three Florida hits and runs, while walking three.
Rebel sophomore RT Cantillo struck with a solo shot to put Ole Miss on the board in the top of the fourth with no outs, but a stellar play by Coyle at shortstop on a line out put one down for Ole Miss, while a fly out to K. Fagan in right field counted as the second out before designated player Jenna Hollencamp connected for Ole Miss’ second and final hit of the game up the middle. Moultrie snagged a ball in center to retire the side, enabling the Gators to take a 6-1 lead to the bottom of the fourth.
Florida struck again in the bottom half of the inning with a three-run frame, powered by S. Fagan’s RBI triple, followed by a RBI double from Haeger for two more Gator runs, extending the lead, 8-1. A Coyle groundout with just one out on the board accounted for her second RBI of the afternoon when pinch runner Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) crossed home for the 9-1 Orange and Blue lead.
With an eight-run lead heading to the fifth, Haeger took over pitching duties in the circle, while junior Sam Holle (Tampa, Fla.) entered at first and freshman Jess Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) came in to play left field for the Gators. Haeger fanned one, allowed a tough-luck base hit when Natalie Nimmo skied a pop-up that was lost in the sun and dropped on the right side of the infield. Haeger retired the side with a Rebel groundout, clinching Florida’s sixth-consecutive SEC series win.
Florida and Ole Miss will take to the field for the series finale Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. UF will aim for its second-consecutive sweep over Ole Miss.
Gator fans can catch 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.