Sunday March 3, 2013Gator Softball Pitching Staff Combines for Perfect Game as Florida Downs Presbyterian 11-0 in Five
No. 4 UF (22-1) concluded its weekend on the softball diamond with an 11-0, combined perfect game victory over Presbyterian Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Pitchers Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.), Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) collaborated to retire all 15 Blue Hose batters in the run-rule win, as Rogers retired the first nine, Haeger sat down three in the fourth, and Bache handled the three fifth-inning batters.
Florida defeated Drake twice and was victorious over Mount St. Mary’s, FAMU and Presbyterian in the three-day home tournament. The Orange and Blue improved to 22-1 overall this season using six wins in the last week of play – five tourney victories and UF’s 3-1 midweek win over USF last Wednesday.
The feat Sunday for UF’s pitching trio marked the first combined perfect game in Gator history. UF has just five other perfect games, the most recent being Stephanie Brombacher’s Feb. 12, 2011, perfect game versus NC State.
Florida head coach Tim Walton also highlighted the weekend, notching win No. 400 as UF’s head coach following Saturday’s 20-2 record-tying win over FAMU. Walton, the already the winningest coach in Gator softball history, is now 401-94 (.810) overall at Florida and 524-158 (.768) in his head coaching career.
All three Florida hurlers earned wins in the circle throughout weekend tourney play, Rogers (10-1) with the win Sunday against Presbyterian after tossing her fourth career complete-game one-hitter in Saturday’s contest against Drake, while Bache and Haeger each chalked up wins, Bache (5-0) with a career-best 12-strikeout performance against Mount St. Mary’s Friday and Haeger (7-0) with victories against both Drake and FAMU.
UF used 13 bombs to contribute to 27 extra-base hits in the last week of play to help aid Florida’s winning efforts.
In addition to her contributions in the circle on the defensive end, Haeger also led UF’s efforts at the plate through the past six games, going 10-for-21 (.476) last week with two doubles, four home runs and15 RBI. Against Presbyterian, Haeger put on a 3-for-4 performance, including a base hit, double and home run, to account for a team-leading four RBI on the afternoon.
Rogers fanned five against Presbyterian, while Bache had one K in the fifth for the six strikeouts in the contest.
Florida scattered three runs in the first, four in the second, one in the third and three in the fourth to power its way to a 22nd victory this season Sunday over the Blue Hose. UF faced four different Presbyterian hurlers, but starter Kensley Loudermelk took the loss to move to 6-3 on the season.
A junior Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) sac fly plated the Gators’ first run of the game in the bottom of the first, allowing freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) to cross the dish after the leadoff speedster put down a bunt single to start the game. A bases-loaded walk for freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach, Fla.) added one to the tally and sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) followed with a hard-hit RBI single to center for UF’s third run in the opening frame.
Haeger struck with a one-out, two-run blast, her team-leading sixth homer of the season, in the bottom of the second to take the Gators ahead, 5-0, while Little and senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) followed by making great contact with the ball in the frame, each knocking sky-high hits to the outfield that counted as triples – Little first, followed by Horton’s, which scored little from third for the 6-0 UF lead. Horton then scampered home on a junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) groundout to extend UF’s lead 7-0 after two innings of play at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Haeger followed her second-inning homer with a RBI double in the third frame, which gave the Gators an eight-run lead to work with on the defensive end. The righty then entered the circle for UF and retired the Blue Hose in order in the top of the fourth via a foul out and two groundouts.
Florida then used a Schwarz sac fly, a Stewart two-out infield RBI single and Haeger’s third RBI hit of the day to center to extend the UF advantage, 11-0, after the home half of the fourth inning.
The Gators went with Bache in the circle in the fifth to close out the game for the Orange and Blue and the righty used a strikeout and two fly outs to retire Presbyterian and keep the slate clean for the perfect performance.
Florida will hit the road again this week during the Gators’ spring break for a mid-week non-conference clash with SEC Western Division rival Alabama Wednesday before traveling to Auburn to open conference play March 8-11 on the road at Jane B. Moore field.
For more information on both the Alabama and Auburn match-ups, visit GatorZone.com throughout the next week.
All Gator softball games this season will be live locally on WYGC-FM 105 (104.9) The Game, with audio streaming available on GatorZone.com. For all other broadcast and television information, visit the UF schedule page
For live updates, box scores, stats, pictures and recaps throughout the season, be sure to visit UF on GatorZone, follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball.