Saturday April 21, 2012No. 3/4 Florida Softball Completes Sweep of FIU, 7-1
The No. 3/4 Gator softball squad used a six-run, four hit sixth-inning splurge to down FIU, 7-1, Saturday in the series finale between the two Sunshine State squads. After sweeping a doubleheader Friday evening, Florida returned Saturday with a nine-hit performance – including two homers – to down the Panthers (24-23) and improve to 41-5 overall on the year with its last non-conference series of the season before buckling down for the remainder of the SEC slate.
Sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) rallied for her fourth double of the season to send UF’s first run across home in the bottom of the fifth, but the Panthers countered with a run of their own in the top of the sixth for a 1-1 game. Junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) snapped the tie to lead off the home half of the inning with a solo shot, giving the Gators momentum for a six-run frame to secure the victory.
Sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned her second win in as many days in the circle for the Orange and Blue, improving to 24-3 overall with a seven-strikeout performance. Rogers went the distance, giving up just three hits, three walks and one FIU unearned run to complete the day.
For the second time in as many days, freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) connected for a triple, while classmate Jess Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) smashed her first career homer donning the Orange and Blue after Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) knocked her first career long ball in Friday action. S. Fagan finished the afternoon 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBI and one walk, while concluding the series against FIU with a .600 batting clip (6-for-10), two triples, six RBI and four runs scored.
Florida had its chances early, most ideally in the fourth with two runners in scoring position, but UF left seven runners on base before putting up their first run of Saturday’s finale in the fifth.
After the Gators stranded one in the first inning, freshman Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) milked FIU hurler Shelby Graves for a leadoff walk in the second, as fellow first year Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) followed with a two-out base hit to right field for runners on first and second, but Graves forced a pop-up to retire the side. Medina finished the afternoon 2-for-3 with one run, while playing a crucial role on defense, including her contribution to a Gator double play in the fifth.
In the third inning, S. Fagan dropped a one-out bunt single and proceeded to swipe second for her 14th stolen base of the season before Coyle followed with a walk for runners on first and second. The Gators couldn’t capitalize, though, as another Graves pop-out ended the inning before UF could take advantage.
A junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) single through the left side led off the bottom of the fourth for the home team, while Gammel dropped a sac bunt to move her into scoring position. Next up, Medina sent one up the middle, putting runners on the corners with just one out on the board. A sophomore Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) groundout allowed Medina to scamper to second for two runners in scoring position, while also turning over the UF lineup, but a hack from Moultrie found the right fielder’s glove for the third out before UF could push a run across.
A 6-4-3 double play in the top of the fifth for Coyle, Medina and Saturday’s first baseman, Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.), gave the Gators some momentum heading to the bottom half of the inning. A S. Fagan leadoff walk started UF’s charge in the fifth, as S. Fagan proceeded to take second and third on two Graves wild pitches. A Coyle one-out RBI double to left field plated S. Fagan for UF’s first run of the afternoon before a strikeout and fly out ended the frame.
Panther leadoff hitter Jessy Alfonso connected for FIU’s first hit of the afternoon, a one-out success to right center, while Brie Rojas also found the right-center gap to plate Alfonso, knotting the game at one-all heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Gammel was quick to take the Gators ahead with a leadoff homer, her fifth of the season, to the left-center scoreboard for the 2-1 Gator advantage. Florida added its third run on a Mariah Dawson wild pitch, allowing Medina to cross home as Moultrie walked. Next up, S. Fagan found the left-center gap for her second triple in as many days to bring two more Gators across the dish for the 5-1 lead.
A Haeger groundout added to the sixth-inning scoring splurge before Damico knocked her first career homer over the center-field fence to take the Orange and Blue up, 7-1, for good.
The Gators will swing back into conference action Tuesday with a doubleheader versus LSU. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, while game two will follow at approximately 7:30. Gator and Tiger fans can catch Tuesday’s twin bill on CSS. Locally, Gator fans should tune into Cox Channel 199 for programming. Note this is different than the usual channel 259 for CSS programming. Fans will need a digital cable box, but will not need to be subscribers to the Cox sports tier. The first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader will air live, while the second game will air on tape delay at 10:30 p.m. (ET). In addition, fans can catch both match-ups on ESPN3.com.
In addition to CSS’s programming, fans can tune in live locally and online to WYGC-104.9 FM, 105 The Game, with Adam Schick and Megan Bush or follow live stats online through Gametracker, with all links accessible on GatorZone.com/softball.
For all game notes, stats and recaps, be sure to visit www.GatorZone.com following each game through the remainder of the season. 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.
· The Gators have registered seven series sweeps this season
· Florida is undefeated when scoring first (37-0)
· UF holds a day game record of 27-1
· Rogers registered her 60th career win as a Gator pitcher
· UF has not let an opponent score more than five runs this season
· The Gators are 32-2 when outhitting their opponents
· Rogers fanned at least one batter in each of the first four innings, with two each in the first two frames
· Gammel hit her fifth home run of the season to start off the sixth inning
· The Gators have hit a home run in every game this series
· Saturday’s sixth-inning splurge marked the 12th time Florida has registered 5+ runs in an inning, the first time all season UF’s put up five or more in the sixth inning
· Damico recorded her first career home run in the sixth. Two UF freshmen have connected for their first long balls this weekend, as Briana Little did so Friday
· In back-to-back games, Florida's final run came from a home run