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Friday February 22, 2013Softball Splits Day Two in Palm Springs; Tops Syracuse 5-1, Edged 4-3 by No. 7 Missouri in Record 12 Innings

Palm Springs, Calif.

The Gator softball team kicked off day two of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a 5-1 victory over Syracuse before falling short to No. 7 Missouri, 4-3, in a record 12 innings in Florida’s second game of the day at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Palm Springs.


After improving to 15-0 with the win over Syracuse, the Gators then took to the field in a 12-inning, three-hour thriller with SEC newcomer Missouri in a non-conference match-up, the longest game in UF’s history. Florida has played 11 innings three times in the history of the program, most recently against Tennessee May 3, 2008, a game the Gators won, 6-5. Florida fell just short, 4-3, in the bottom of the 12th against the Tigers on a Nicole Hudson RBI single to left center.


No. 5 Florida, 15-1 overall on the season, is now 3-1 against top-25 opponents this season and 1-1 in extra-innings games in 2013.


Sophomore hurler Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) got the day started off right for the Gators against Syracuse to improve to 4-0 in the circle, while fanning a career-tying nine batters, allowing just four hits and one run – a sac fly in the seventh – in the winning effort for the Orange and Blue.


Freshman leadoff Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) went 3-for-5 against Syracuse to lead the Gators at the plate, adding two RBI, while freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) and sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) accounted for UF’s other two hits in game one.


Florida put up one run in the second and two each in the fourth and fifth innings to scatter the scoring against SU. Fuller drew a one-out walk for UF in the top of the second inning, moved to second on a Medina groundout and on to third after a Stewart base hit. The Gator utility player then crossed home after a Syracuse throwing error to third base during an attempted UF double-steal allowed Fuller to score anyway for the 1-0 Gator lead.


A Stewart one-out, two-RBI triple in the fourth inning accounted for the Gators’ two runs in the stanza, while Florida capitalized on another Syracuse defensive miscue in the fifth inning for their fourth run of the game and a Fuller RBI double plated the second and final run for the Gators in game one of UF’s Friday doubleheader.


Syracuse starting pitcher Stacy Kuwik (2-1) was charged the loss after giving up three runs and UF’s first two hits in the first 4.0 innings of play before being relieved by Lindsay Taylor for the final three.


In UF’s thriller against the Tigers, Missouri (8-0) jumped on top of the Gators, 2-0, in the bottom of the third on a solo homer from Sarah Moore before a Hudson RBI double drove in the second run of the inning for MU.


On swing of the bat from Florida senior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) evened things up, though, in the fourth when the Florida outfielder knocked a two-out, two-RBI base hit to left center with bases loaded to plate sophomores Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) who reached on a base hit and hit-by-pitch, respectively.


With the game knotted at two-all, the Gators opted to trade starting pitcher Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) for junior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) to switch up the look in the bottom of the fifth. Rogers fanned five batters in regulation to keep Missouri off the board and force extras.


Haeger finished the day in the circle with three strikeouts and two runs on four hits in 4.0 innings of work. In the opposing dugout, Tiger senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas (3-0) went the distance with 19 strikeouts through the 12-inning game.


With the international tie-breaker rules in effect, both teams started the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th innings with a runner on second base. In the top of the eighth, the Gators bunted Haeger over to third thanks to Rogers’ first career sac bunt, but Thomas halted any scoring opportunities with two-consecutive strikeouts.


In the bottom of the eighth frame, Rogers came up clutch for the Orange and Blue with the top of MU’s lineup due up. Leadoff hitter Jenna Marston started the game on second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. The Gators then opted to load the bags with intentional walks to Hudson and Kelsea Roth with one down to go after five-hole hitter Angela Randazzo. Rogers fanned Randazzo swinging and popped Emily Crane up to retire the side.


In the ninth, both squads went three up, three down and in the 10th, both Missouri and Florida opted to intentionally walk batters – Mizzou passing on Haeger in the top of the stanza and Florida issuing an intentional free pass to Hudson. Otherwise, same story different inning as both hurlers effectively retired the opposing side.


Florida first took a 3-2 lead in the 11th when Rogers scampered home from third after a junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) groundout moved her there from second, followed by a bobble from Genovese at short during Gammel’s at-bat that plated the Florida pitcher.


Missouri countered in the bottom of the inning when pinch runner Ashtin Stephens scored after being bunted to third and sent home on a Crane sacrifice fly to Stewart in shallow right field.


With the game knotted at three-all heading to the 12th, Thomas retired the Gators in order via two strikeouts and a groundout in the top of the inning before Mizzou loaded the bags in the bottom of the 12th with two outs on a Mackenzie Sykes double to right center, followed by an intentional walk for Marston and an infield single for Genovese. Next up, Hudson sent a 0-2 Rogers pitch to the left-center gap to plate the winning run from third.


Rogers (6-1) fanned a season-best nine batters in relief, and allowed two runs on four hits to wrap things up against the Tigers.


Haeger, Castro, Little, Tofft and Gammel accounted for UF’s five hits in game two against the Tigers, Gammel leading the way with her clutch two RBI. Hudson went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Missouri to lead the Tigers at the plate.


The Gators will be back at it Saturday with their fifth and final game of the classic slated for 12:30 p.m. (ET) against Georgia Tech.





Florida Versus Georgia Tech







Feb. 23

Georgia Tech

12:30 p.m.


UF leads, 5-1

Feb. 13, 2010 in Clearwater, FL (GT 3, UF 0)


All broadcast information, including GameTracker, radio and GatorVision live streaming links for the Gators this season, and this weekend during the Marry Nutter Collegiate Classic can be found on UF’s schedule page.


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