Sunday April 8, 2012Bailey Castro's Two Homers, Seven RBI Lift No. 6 Florida Softball to 14-3 Sweep of Ole Miss
Florida freshman designated player Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) accounted for a school-record tying seven RBI Sunday, smashing two homers – including her first career grand slam – and walking in a run to power the Orange and Blue to a 14-3 series sweep over Ole Miss at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
For the first time since former Gator Megan Bush did so in 2010, Castro tallied two homers in a single inning, including UF’s third grand slam of the season, to go with a two-run shot in the third, then drew a one-out walk with bases loaded in the fourth to bring home her seventh RBI of the game. Castro tied Bush and former Gator Missy Zick with her seven RBI in Sunday’s contest for the single-game school record, Bush being the last to accomplish the feat last year in Florida’s March 19 win at Ole Miss.
Castro’s bat lit up the third for UF (35-4, 15-2 SEC), which put up 10 runs on six hits in the inning, while its 14 overall marked the second-most this season for the Gators behind15 scored against Michigan State Feb. 19.
The Gators swept their fourth conference series this weekend, while winning their sixth-consecutive SEC series, having won all six in league play thus far. Saturday and Sunday’s run-rule wins marked Florida’s 14th and 15th of the 2012 campaign. For Castro, three of her four homers on the season came against the Rebels with a solo shot Friday, followed by Sunday’s two blasts.
The Orange and Blue exploded for 10 hits, the Gators’ fifth league game with double-digit hits, scattering one run in the first, two in the second, 10 in the third and one in the fourth. Seven Gators tallied hits on the afternoon, led by Castro (2-for-2, three runs, seven RBI, two walks), senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2-for-2, three runs, one walk) and junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) (2-for-3, two runs).
Freshman Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) tossed just her third complete game of the season, allowing three runs and three hits – all in the fourth inning – while walking just one and fanning a career-best five Rebels to earn her fifth victory of the season. Florida faced three Ole Miss (16-21, 3-11 SEC) pitchers on the afternoon, all in the third inning, but ultimately starter Kendall Bruning tallied the loss, moving to 12-11 on the season after giving up UF’s first 10 runs on six hits and walking four through the first two and two-thirds innings.
Sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) extended her career-best hit streak to seven games, knocking a single through the right side as one of UF’s six hits in the third stanza.
In typical Moultrie fashion, the Gator led off the first for Florida with a bunt single, swiped her 18th base of the season and crossed home on a Bruning wild pitch to put up UF’s first run of the Sunday finale.
A freshman Jess Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) sac fly plated Castro to add another run in the second frame for the Gators after Castro drew a leadoff walk for Florida. UF added its third run of the game when freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) was hit by a pitch with bases loaded to send Horton home. Horton connected for her seventh double of the campaign to reach base.
A Castro two-run blast in the third inning with no outs on the board tacked on two more runs for Florida for a 5-0 lead, as sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) also scored after reaching base on a free pass. Production from the bottom of Florida’s lineup in the third loaded the bags again for the Gators when freshman Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) reached on fielder’s choice, while Damico followed by dropping a bloop single in shallow center field to turn over the lineup. Moultrie was hit by her eighth pitch of the year to load the bases. Next up, S. Fagan drew a two-out walk to bring Medina home for a 4-0 lead.
Freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) stepped in next, roping a two-RBI base hit through the left side to plate both Damico and Moultrie for the 8-0 lead. The hit spurred a pitching change in the circle for the Rebels, who exchanged Bruning for Jayjohn, before Coyle stepped in, drawing her second walk of the afternoon to load the bases and setting up Castro’s grand slam to clear the bags and give Florida a 12-0 lead.
The Gators added one more run in the inning when Horton scored her second run of the inning after reaching on a hit-by-pitch and coming home on a Rebels defensive miscue with just two outs on the board for the 13-0 Gator advantage heading to the fourth.
Ole Miss countered in the top of the fourth with a three-run, three-hit inning to narrow the Gator lead, 13-3, after RT Cantillo, Londen Ladner and Lauren Lindsey all connected for base hits, Ladner with a RBI double and Lindsey with a RBI single through the right side. Allison Brown knocked a sac fly to right field to plate the Rebels’ third run of the frame.
Florida added its final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth stanza, loading the bags with Moultrie and S. Fagan base hits, followed by a Haeger walk. Next up, Castro added her seventh RBI, reaching on a one-out free pass that plated Moultrie. A strikeout and fly out ended the inning and Bache retired Ole Miss in order in the top of the fifth to seal the UF run-rule victory.
The Gators will next head to Orlando for a mid-week match-up with UCF Wednesday, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m., before continuing the rest of its month-long home stand with Auburn April 13-15. Game times are 6 p.m., 1 p.m., and 1 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, against the Tigers.
Gator fans can catch Wednesday’s game live on the Bright House Sports Network in the Orlando/Tampa area 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.