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Saturday March 2, 2013No. 4 Gator Softball Downs Drake 4-1 & FAMU 20-2 in Record-Setting Fashion Saturday

Gainesville, Fla.

A junior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) one-hitter against Drake and a school-record tying, eight-homer offensive output for the Gators against FAMU helped the No. 4 Florida softball team improve to 21-1 overall on the year as the Gators topped the Bulldogs 4-1 and the Rattlers 20-2 in five innings Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

 

Florida’s eight long balls against Florida A&M – including two grand slams – tied a school record for most home runs in a game, last achieved by the Orange and Blue at Auburn in 2011. A total of seven Gators connected for bombs against FAMU, including junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.), freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach, Fla.) and sophomores Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.), Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.), Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.). Haeger and Damico also connected for long balls against the Bulldogs in UF’s first game of the day.

 

Rogers used a season-best 11 strikeouts four her fourth career complete-game one-hitter in the 4-1 win over Drake. The righty walked just two and held the Bulldogs hitless until the top of the seventh to improve to 9-1 in the circle for the Orange and Blue.

 

In the Gators’ second game, UF scattered seven runs in the first inning, three in the second, two in the third and four each in the fourth and fifth frames to put up 20 runs on 19 hits against Florida A&M, its most runs since defeating Ball State 21-0 in Clearwater in March of 2011, and two shy of the school record 22. The Gators’ 19 hits were additionally two short of the program record 21.

 

Castro went yard twice against the Rattlers – the second time in her career with two homers in a game – while Haeger and Little both smashed grand slams in the match-up to bring UF’s season total to five. For Little, the grand slam was her second this year after connecting for one against Jacksonville Feb. 13.

 

After a Haeger sac fly and senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) RBI double for the Gators’ first two runs in the first inning, the Florida quartet of Tofft, Schwarz, Damico and Medina collaborated for an unprecedented back-to-back-to-back-to-back blasts to stretch the Florida lead to 7-0 after the top of the first, the first such strand of bombs since former Gators Kelsey Bruder, Brittany Schutte and Megan Bush went back-to-back-to-back against LSU in 2011.

 

With a cushion to work with, game two pitcher Haeger went to work, finishing the day with seven strikeouts, while allowing just four FAMU hits and two runs, both of which came in the bottom of the fourth for the Rattlers. Haeger improved to 7-0 in the circle for the Orange and Blue.

 

Castro sent a one-out blast over the center-field fence to start UF’s second-inning scoring, while a Schwarz RBI single and Damico fielder’s choice brought home the other two second-inning scores for the 10-0 Gator lead. In the third stanza, a Haeger base hit set up Castro’s second bomb of the afternoon, a two-run shot that extended the advantage, 12-0.

 

Haeger’s grand slam and team-leading fifth homer of the season, highlighted the fourth inning for the 16-0 UF lead before FAMU narrowed it, 16-2, in the bottom of the frame on a Kieifi Myrick RBI single and Raven Moseley ground out. Little struck for her second grand slam of the year, UF’s eighth homer of the game, in the top of the fifth to seal the deal for the Gators. For Tofft, her homer in the first inning marked the first of her Gator career.

 

Medina was a perfect 3-for-3 on the afternoon against FAMU, while Little and Tofft were both 2-for-2. Haeger and Horton both finished 2-for-4 against the Rattlers, while Castro was 2-for-3 and Schwarz 3-for-4.

 

Florida A&M starter Jennifer Lindsey picked up the loss for UF’s seven first-inning runs on six hits to move to 2-9 on the season.

 

In UF’s first game of the day, a rematch of Friday’s game between the Gators and Bulldogs, Rogers tossed her fourth career complete-game one-hitter, fanning a season-best 11 batters in the process.

 

Rogers threw a no hitter through six stanzas until Drake’s Nicole Randel chopped leadoff base hit to shallow right field put up the first and only hit of the game for the Bulldogs. For Rogers, the 11 Ks were the most for the righty since 11 versus Eastern Michigan last season.

 

The Bulldogs were first to get on the board in the top of the first stanza after executing a double steal with runners on the corners. The Gators countered in the home half of the inning with a bases-loaded RBI walk from Tofft to knot the contest at one apiece.

 

The Gators used the long ball in the second and fifth frames to jump out to a 3-1 cushion for Rogers, as Damico connected for a solo shot in the second, while Haeger went yard in the bottom of the fifth.

 

Tofft added to the Florida lead with a two-out RBI double to the right-center wall for the Gators’ fourth run of the contest against the Bulldogs.

 

Freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) also connected for a base hit against the Bulldogs to account for UF’s fourth of the contest.

 

Drake starting hurler Jordan Gronewold shouldered the loss in the circle for the Bulldogs after giving up Florida’s first run of the game before being relieved by Rebekah Schmidt and then re-entering and giving up Damico’s solo blast in the second.

 

The Gators will match up with Presbyterian Sunday in their final game of the weekend at 1:45 p.m. Drake and Mount St. Mary’s take to the field at 9:30 a.m. to kick off the day from Katie Seashole Pressly. For a complete tourney schedule, visit GatorZone.com.

 

All Gator games will be live on the radio locally on WYGC-FM 105 (104.9) The Game, with audio streaming available on GatorZone.com. Live stats for all tournament games are available on Gametracker. For links and all broadcast information for the remainder of the weekend, visit the Gator softball schedule page.

 

 

FLORIDA VERSUS PRESBYTERIAN

Date

Opponent

Record

Time (ET)

Series Notes

Last Meeting

3/3

Presbyterian

6-6

1:45 p.m.

First meeting

n/a

 

 

For live updates, box scores, stats, pictures and recaps throughout the season and UF’s tournament this weekend, be sure to follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball.

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