Sunday May 20, 2012USF Bulls Use 1-0 Victory Over Florida Softball to Advance to NCAA Softball Super Regionals
USF used a Kenshyra Jackson infield single to plate the lone run of Sunday’s regional final between the USF and UF Sunshine State softball squads, as the Bulls advanced to the 16-team NCAA Super Regionals round with the 1-0 victory. The Gators loaded the bags in the bottom of the sixth, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, wrapping up the 2012 season at 48-13 overall.
USF pitcher Sara Nevins tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout, fanning 12 Florida batters to lead the Bulls to their second-ever Super Regionals appearance, as USF will host Hofstra, winner of the Los Angeles regional, this upcoming weekend.
Gator senior All-American and 2012 SEC Player of the Year Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) concluded her tenure donning the Orange and Blue as Florida’s career leader in batting average (.385) and stolen bases/attempts (83-99). Moultrie, a top-10 finalist for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and USA Softball’s Player of the Year, dropped a staggering 73 bunt singles in her four-year career as a Gator, highlighted by 27 her senior season in 2012. Moultrie will continue her career internationally as a member of USA Softball’s 2012 Women’s National Team, with the option to play professionally after being drafted by the USSSA Florida Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch league.
While the Gators fell short of advancing out of a regional for the first time since 2006, Florida battled through adversity after falling into the loser’s bracket Friday, coming out with two dominating wins Saturday, including a season-best 14 hits against FGCU coupled with four home runs.
The Orange and Blue finished the 2012 SEC season 21-7 for the program’s fifth-straight 20-win league campaign in school history, as seven Gators were All-SEC picks. UF reached the SEC Tournament Championship Game for the fifth time in school history, as Florida head coach Tim Walton became the fastest active coach in the SEC to reach 500 career victories.
Junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) was named to the SEC Community Service team, while Horton and Moultrie were tabbed Capital One Academic All-District 4 honorees to advance to the national ballot for Academic All-American status. Sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.), Moultrie, freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and Horton are NFCA All-Southeast Region picks now in contention for All-America honors.
On the softball diamond, Florida claimed victories over top-10 national seeds Alabama, Texas and Texas A&M, as well as series wins at Georgia and Tennessee to highlight the 2012 regular-season slate.
Florida sophomore hurler Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.), like Nevins, also went the distance Sunday, allowing just four USF hits, while Jackson beat out an infield single to allow the Bulls’ lone run to cross home in the top of the fourth. Rogers finished her second season on campus 28-8 overall, retiring four Bulls by strikeout Sunday.
Moultrie led Florida at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance, while Horton, Haeger and freshman Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) were all 1-for-3 on the day. USF leadoff hitter Gina Kafalas (2-for-3) led the Bulls with half of the squad’s hits in the regional final.
The Gators will close the book to the 2012 season, but will look forward to welcoming a class of five signees in the fall of 2012 in Taylore Fuller, Kirsti Merritt, Aubree Munro, Taylor Schwarz and Kelsey Stewart.
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