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Friday April 12, 2013No. 3/4 Gator Softball Visits No. 18/19 Kentucky for SEC Eastern Division Series April 12-14

Lexington, Ky.

After a 9-1, six-inning victory over USF Wednesday to improve to 39-4, the No. 3/4 Gators will swing back into conference play and head to Lexington, Ky., for a SEC Eastern Division clash with No. 18/19 Kentucky April 12-14. The three-game set between the two squads will serve as the third-to-last league series for the Orange and Blue before returning to Kentucky for the 2013 conference tournament in May.

 

The Gators’ three games against the Wildcats (30-10, 8-4 SEC) will serve as their ninth, 10th and 11th contests against top-25 ranked opponents this season, as UF (39-4, 12-3 SEC) enters the series a SEC-best 6-2 (.750) overall against the high caliber, ranked competition. Florida has won all five of its conference series so far in league play, with sweeps against Arkansas and Ole Miss.

 

The second game of the series Saturday will air live on ESPNU, UF’s second appearance on the ESPN family of networks this season, with Cara Capuano and Cheri Kempf on the call. Kentucky will debut a brand new stadium Saturday at the UK Softball Complex, with a dedication ceremony at 11:45 prior to the scheduled 1 p.m. first pitch. The Wildcats play host to the 2013 SEC Softball Tournament this season May 8-11 in Lexington.

 

UF | KENTUCKY BROADCAST INFORMATION

DATE

TIME

VIDEO

TV

RADIO

STATS

4/12

6 pm

WATCH (UK Tube)

 

LISTEN

TRACK

4/13

1 pm

WatchESPN.com

ESPNU

LISTEN

TRACK

4/14

Noon

WATCH (UK Tube)

 

LISTEN

TRACK

 

LAST TIME OUT FOR FLORIDA

After USF plated the first run of the contest Wednesday in the top of the second, Florida countered with a three-run, three-hit third frame, fueled by a freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) two-run triple to pull the Gators ahead, 3-1. The Orange and Blue never looked back, adding a run in the third, two in the fourth and three in the sixth. Freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) both roped doubles to compliment Merritt’s triple, Schwarz hitting left field in the third and Tofft finding the left-center gap in the fourth inning.

 

Sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) was pegged with her 16th pitch of the season – a new Florida single-season record, eclipsing former Gator All-American Francesca Enea’s 15 in 2010. Little and Merritt both reached on hit-by-pitches Wednesday, elevating UF’s season total to 57.

 

Sophomore righty Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB) earned the nod at pitcher for the Gators and worked her sixth complete game of the season to pick up her 11th win in the circle (11-1). Haeger retired the Bulls in order in the first, third and sixth innings to limit USF’s offense.

 

Florida posted 10 hits Wednesday facing three different USF pitchers, fueled by freshman second baseman Kelsey Stewart’s (Wichita, Kan.) 3-for-5 performance, while Tofft was 2-for-3, with Schwarz contributing a 2-for-4 day at the dish.

 

Ranked second in the Division I Softball RPI and sitting atop the SEC standings thus far with an .800 win percentage(12-3), UF additionally entered the week ranked third in the country overall in win-loss percentage (.906) through the 2013 season. The Gators check in sixth in fielding percentage nationally (.979) and eighth in team ERA (1.60). Florida is scoring 7.02 runs per game to rank 10th in the nation, while also knocking 1.36 homers per game (10th), including a staggering 11 grand slams.

 

Florida’s 2.07 stolen bases per game check in 11th, while the Gators are slugging .520 (13th) and knocking 0.31 triples per game (15th), paced by freshman Kelsey Stewart’s nation-leading seven. Rogers ranks fourth in the NCAA in wins (22), 12th in shutouts (6) and 17th in ERA (1.31). Her three saves rank 19th in the country. Having already eclipsed UF’s single-season hit-by-pitch record with 16 – and with UF chasing the single-season school record (59) with 57 already this season – sophomore Briana Little checks in ninth in the country in HBP per game (0.41) to rank first for the Gators in on-base percentage (.492).

 

FLORIDA | KENTUCKY STATISTICALLY

UF

Category

UK

39-4

Record

30-10

12-3

Conference Record

8-4

.280

Batting Average

.267

1086

At Bats

1027

304

Runs

203

304

Hits

274

62

Doubles

39

14

Triples

3

57

Home Runs

40

263

Runs Batted In

180

.520

Slugging Percentage

 .427

88-98

Stolen Bases/Attempts

52-61

231

Walks

151

273

Strikeouts

180

.428

On-Base Percentage

 .374

1.60

Team ERA

2.36

6.65

Opponent ERA

4.34

4

Saves

1

104

Walks

100

287

Strikeouts

219

.203

Batting Average Against

 .218

25

Errors

56

 

SCOUTING KENTUCKY

Kentucky (30-10, 8-4 SEC) is coming off three mid-week wins, defeating Marshall on Tuesday and sweeping a doubleheader with EKU on Wednesday. The Wildcats have won six consecutive games after its three-game sweep of South Carolina last weekend. The winning streak is the second longest of the season after UK earned a school-record tying eight-game winning streak earlier this season. Kentucky has also won a school-record tying six straight SEC games, posting back-to-back sweeps of South Carolina and Mississippi State.

 

The Wildcats boast signature wins over Cal, Washington and Stanford after opening the season at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., like the Gators, before competing in the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego.

 

Four Wildcats are batting over .300 on the season, paced by Kara Dill and Lauren Cumbess, who both own a .354 clip. Cumbess boasts a team-high 10 doubles and 29 RBI, while Dill has a double and triple on her 2013 resume. Griffin Joiner has a squad-high eight homers and .446 on-base percentage. Sylver Samuel is 13-14 on the base paths for Kentucky. As a team, UK checks in with a .267 batting clip through the 2013 season thus far, while the Wildcat pitching staff owns a combined 2.36 ERA.

 

Kelsey Nunley and Cumbess have worked a majority of the innings this season for Kentucky in the circle, Nunley (2.04 ERA) with a 19-4 record and 122 Ks through 161.1 innings pitched in 29 appearances. Cumbess (2.78 ERA) is 8-3 in decisions with 62 strikeouts in 78.0 innings pitched. Katie Henderson (1.00 ERA, 2-1) and Ellen Weaver (3.77 ERA, 1-2) round out the pitching staff, having tossed 40.0 innings combined with 35 Ks between the two.

 

UF | KENTUCKY SERIES HISTORY

Florida leads the series, 40-12 | Kentucky has won five of last six

Home: 20-6 | Away: 19-6 | Neutral: 1-0

 

Date

Location

W/L

Score

4/19/97

Gainesville, Fla.

W

6-1

4/19/97

Gainesville, Fla.

W

9-0 (5)

4/20/97

Gainesville, Fla.

W

8-0 (6)

4/20/97

Gainesville, Fla.

W

2-1

4/17/98

Lexington, Ky.

W

2-0

4/17/98

Lexington, Ky.

W

5-1 (8)

4/18/98

Lexington, Ky.

W

9-1 (5)

4/18/98

Lexington, Ky.

W

10-2

4/23/99

Gainesville, Fla.

W

8-0 (5)

4/23/99

Gainesville, Fla.

W

6-0

4/24/99

Gainesville, Fla.

W

7-2

4/24/99

Gainesville, Fla.

W

3-1

4/21/00

Lexington, Ky.

L

4-0

4/21/00

Lexington, Ky.

L

9-8

4/22/00

Lexington, Ky.

L

3-0

4/22/00

Lexington, Ky.

W

7-6

5/12/00

Columbus, Ga.

W

2-0

3/17/01

Lexington, Ky.

W

18-3 (6)

3/17/01

Lexington, Ky.

W

5-4 (8)

3/18/01

Lexington, Ky.

W

5-4

3/16/02

Gainesville, Fla.

W

6-1

3/16/02

Gainesville, Fla.

L

7-6

3/17/02

Gainesville, Fla.

W

4-3

3/8/03

Lexington, Ky.

W

8-1

3/8/03

Lexington, Ky.

W

10-2 (5)

3/9/03

Lexington, Ky.

W

9-3

3/6/04

Gainesville, Fla.

W

8-1

3/6/04

Gainesville, Fla.

W

6-0

3/7/04

Gainesville, Fla.

L

4-0

5/7/05

Lexington, Ky.

W

13-1 (6)

5/7/05

Lexington, Ky.

W

11-3 (6)

5/8/05

Lexington, Ky.

W

8-0 (6)

4/22/06

Gainesville, Fla.

W

6-2

4/22/06

Gainesville, Fla.

L

3-2

4/23/06

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-3

5/5/07

Lexington, Ky.

W

7-3

5/5/07

Lexington, Ky.

W

7-4

5/6/07

Lexington, Ky.

W

8-0 (5)

4/19/08

Gainesville, Fla.

W

8-0 (5)

4/19/08

Gainesville, Fla.

W

6-5

4/20/08

Gainesville, Fla.

W

8-0 (5)

4/11/09

Lexington, Ky.

W

1-0 (9)

4/11/09

Lexington, Ky.

W

6-0

4/17/10

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-3

4/1/11

Lexington, Ky.

L

10-2 (6)

4/2/11

Lexington, Ky.

L

7-6

4/3/11

Lexington, Ky.

L

9-2

4/27/12

Gainesville, Fla.

L

2-0

4/28/12

Gainesville, Fla.

W

5-0

4/29/12

Gainesville, Fla.

L

5-1

 

NEXT UP

Following the weekend set with the Wildcats, the Orange and Blue will visit No. 25 FSU Wednesday, April 17, for a mid-week tilt in Tallahassee, the second game of the Sunshine Showdown between the Gators and Noles this season. The two squads met just three weeks ago in an epic showdown at UF’s Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, the Gators taking the 7-3 victory on a Briana Little walk-off grand slam in front of the largest crowd in Florida history. UF will then play host to Longwood in a weekend three-game set with a doubleheader Saturday (4/20) and the finale Sunday (4/21) to wrap up non-conference play. UF will complete the 2013 regular season with Georgia at home (4/26-28) before its conference finale at South Carolina (5/3-5/5).

 

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. For broadcast and television information, visit the UF softball schedule page.

 

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