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Thursday April 19, 2012No. 3/4 Gators Welcome Sunshine State Opponent FIU for Final Non-Conference Set

Gainesville, Fla.

After a mid-week break, the No. 3/4 Gator softball team swings back into action with its last non-conference series of the 2012 slate April 20-21 when Sunshine State rival FIU visits Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The Gators and Panthers will clash in a doubleheader Friday, starting at 4 p.m., while the two teams will meet again Saturday with first pitch in the finale set for 1 p.m.

 

Two former Gators will visit Gainesville this weekend in former hurler Mandy Schuerman (2005) and 2011 Gator three-time All-American second baseman Aja Paculba. The duo will trade in their Orange and Blue for FIU colors Friday and Saturday as members of the Panther coaching staff, Schuerman as an assistant coach for the Panthers and Paculba as this year’s FIU graduate assistant.

 

Gator fans can enjoy this weekend’s games live on GatorVision.tv, tune in live locally or online at WYGC-104.9 FM, 105 The Game, with play-by-play from Adam Schick and analysis from former Gator All-American Megan Bush or keep track with online statistics through Gametracker. All links accessible on GatorZone.com.

 

The Orange and Blue enter this weekend’s match-ups with FIU at 38-5 overall and 18-2 in league play, as the Gators sit atop the SEC standings, with Alabama trailing by just a half game. The Crimson Tide next takes on the Georgia Bulldogs in a three-game set April 19-21 in Athens.

 

A near no-hitter from freshman hurler Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and 11 Florida runs were all the Gators needed last weekend to sweep Auburn for UF’s seventh SEC series win and fifth league series sweep. While Haeger picked up Saturday’s win with a career-tying 11 strikeouts, sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned the wins Friday and Sunday against the Tigers to improve to 22-3 in the circle with two complete-game victories.

 

As the postseason rapidly approaches, several Gators are contenders for national awards, as senior centerfielder Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Rogers are two of 25 finalists for USA Softball’s Player of the Year. In addition, Moultrie is one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which takes into account academic and athletic achievements in addition to a student-athlete’s character and community-service efforts, and is awarded just prior to the start of the Women’s College World Series.

 

The Gators rank fourth in the country in ERA (1.10), sixth in winning percentage (.884), eighth in fielding percentage (.977) and 11th in slugging percentage (.523). Individually, Rogers is fourth in the nation in ERA (0.96) and sixth in victories (22). Moultrie checks in 10th in the NCAA in runs per game (1.19), with a league-leading 51 thus far in the campaign.

 

Scouting the Panthers

FIU heads to Gainesville on the tail end of a nine-game road trip, as the Panthers (24-20, 12-7 SBC) took two-of-three from both WKU and Middle Tennessee. With the wins, FIU is currently third in the Sun Belt Conference standings and two games behind South Alabama in the loss column. The Panthers will travel to Mobile, Ala., next week for a critical conference series against the Jaguars.

 

The Panthers have faced six Top-25 teams this season, including three in the top 10. The Panthers took one of those games last week against then-No. 7 Louisiana at home, handing the Ragin’ Cajuns their second loss of the year. FIU also beat current No. 24 Oregon State and then-No. 25 DePaul earlier this season.

 

Senior Ashley McClain leads FIU with a .388 batting clip, thanks to 50 hits - including nine doubles, a triple and seven homers - thus far in 2012. McClain eclipsed the FIU career home runs record just last week, while hurler Mariah Dawson has 173 strikeouts this season through 165.0 innings pitched to lead the Sun Belt Conference. Dawson (2.50 ERA) is 17-10 in the circle for the Panthers.

 

Last Time Out

April 13, 2011: UF 8, FIU 0 (6 inn)

Florida 8, FIU 0 (Apr 13, 2011 at Gainesville, Fla.)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

FIU.................. 000 000  -  0  2  1      (23-21)

Florida............. 110 402  -  8  7  0      (34-7)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Pitchers: FIU - Dawson, Mari; Gniadek, Jen(4) and Welch, Jenny. Florida - Hannah Rogers and

Tiffany DeFelice.

Win-Hannah Rogers(20-5)  Loss-Dawson, Mari(8-7)  T-1:22  A-723

HR UF - Tiffany DeFelice (2); Samantha Holle (2).

Weather: 82 degrees, sunny            

Dawson, Mari faced 1 batter in the 4th.

Gniadek, Jen faced 2 batters in the 6th.

 

UF vs. FIU Series History

Series Record............. Florida leads, 8-3

At Florida............................................... 6-3

At FIU...................................................... 1-0

Neutral................................................... 1-0

1-run....................................................... 1-0

2-run....................................................... 2-0

Shutouts................................................. 3-2

Most Runs, UF...................... 13 (5/23/10)

Margin, UF............................. 10 (5/23/10)

Most Runs, FIU........................ 8 (4/20/10)

Margin, FIU................ 5, 2x (last 4/40/10)

Long Win Streak, UF 5 (1/29/05-3/18/09)

Long Win Streak, FIU 2 (2/8/02-2/10/02)

 

Florida vs. FIU

Florida............. Category.................... FIU

38-5................... Record.................. 24-20

18-2........ Conference Record......... 12-7

.315............ Batting Average.......... . .269

1060.................. At Bats................... 1151

258...................... Runs....................... 191

334........................ Hits........................ 310

48...................... Doubles....................... 46

10....................... Triples.......................... 3

51................... Home Runs................... 22

241.............. Runs Batted In............... 156

.524....... Slugging Percentage........ .372

52-66... Stolen Bases/Attempts.... 35-43

170...................... Walks...................... 150

185.................. Strikeouts................... 170

.420....... On-Base Percentage....... .361

1.08................ Team ERA................. 2.92

6.27............. Opponent ERA............. 3.52

5 ......................... Saves........................... 2

93........................ Walks...................... 142

264.................. Strikeouts................... 250

.185.... Batting Average Against.... .234

.977........ Fielding Percentage........ .961

27........................ Errors......................... 49

 

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