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Kelsey Stewart drove in a career-best four runs on Saturday.

Saturday May 17, 2014Gators Defeat Stetson, 14-0, to Advance to Regional Final

Gainesville, Fla.

Kelsey Stewart drove in a career-best four runs on Saturday.

BOX SCORE

 

The University of Florida softball team defeated Stetson 14-0 (6 innings) on Saturday to advance to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional. Senior Hannah Rogers tossed a four-hit shutout, allowing one walk and striking out four batters.

 

Stephanie Tofft got things started for Florida with a one-out single in the top of the first, and the Gators (47-11) loaded the bases on walks to Lauren Haeger and Briana Little. UF plated its first run when Bailey Castro was hit by a pitch to force in Tofft. Stetson (39-13) had a one-out single in the bottom of the frame, but Aubree Munro caught the runner stealing after a strikeout from Rogers.

 

The Orange and Blue added another run in the second when Munro reached on a two-base error and then scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Kelsey Stewart. Stetson had a baserunner in the home half on a UF miscue, but Rogers induced a groundout by the next batter to end the inning.

 

Castro doubled to left to begin the third, advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Kirsti Merritt before Taylor Schwarz pushed the Gator lead to three with an RBI single to left. A single by Munro set up Stewart for a two-run triple to right-center, and Tofft drove in the sophomore on a base hit to left, putting the Gators ahead 6-0.  The Hatters had a one-out single in the bottom of the inning, but the runner was hit by a batted ball on a two-out base hit to end the inning.

 

Castro drew a one-out walk in the fourth, and pinch-runner Justine McLean got as far as third before she was tagged out trying to score on Schwarz' two-out bunt single. Rogers (24-8) retired Stetson in order in the bottom of the frame.

 

Taylore Fuller singled through the left side as a pinch-hitter to lead off the fifth, and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch. Fuller came home on Stewart’s base hit to right, putting the Gators up 7-0. The Hatters drew a leadoff walk, but Rogers stranded the runner in the home half.

 

McLean reached on a fielder’s choice with one out in the sixth, and the freshman scored from first on Merritt’s double to left-center to push the lead to eight. Pinch-hitter Chelsea Herndon plated Merritt with a single to right after a walk to Schwarz, and Jessica Damico scored the first baseman on a pinch-hit infield single. A walk to substitute Francesca Martinez loaded the bases for Haeger, who launched a grand slam to right-center that gave the Gators a 14-0 lead.

 

Rogers allowed a two-out single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth before completing the shutout with a groundout to third base, securing a berth for Florida in Sunday’s regional final.

 

NOTABLES

·         Saturday’s win marks the largest margin of victory and the biggest shutout win in UF’s NCAA Tournament history, surpassing a 12-0 win over Florida A&M on May 15, 2009.

·         Florida tied a season high with 17 hits (also: Feb. 22 vs. Troy).

·         The Gators’ 14 runs marks their sixth-highest output this season.

·         The Gators’ four pinch-hitters were 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.  All four came around to score runs.

·         Stetson did not advance a runner to second base.

·         Rogers threw her fourth career shutout in 16 NCAA Tournament starts (last: May 26, 2013, vs. UAB).

·         Stewart recorded the first four-RBI game of her career.

·         The Wichita, Kan., native hit a triple for the second consecutive game and the third time in 10 NCAA Tournament contests.

·         The infielder had her 16th multi-RBI game of 2014, tying Tofft for second place on the team (Haeger – 17).

·         Tofft had her fourth three-hit game of the season; all three have come in the last 15 games (since April 12).  

·         Schwarz recorded her 10th multi-hit game in 2014, doubling her total from her freshman campaign.

·         After driving in four runs in eight NCAA Tournament games last season, Schwarz has four RBI in two contests this year.

 

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UP NEXT

The NCAA Gainesville Regional concludes Sunday, when the Gators face the winner of Saturday’s nightcap at 1 p.m. (all times Eastern), with a rematch (if necessary) at approximately 3:30. GatorVision will have free, live video. WGGG (1230-AM) will provide radio coverage of all UF contests, with Adam Schick and former Gator All-American Megan Bush on the call. In addition, live stats will be available through Gametracker on the GatorZone.com schedule page

 

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