Florida softball sweeps, wins Lipton Invitational

No. 3/9 Florida Gators softball (9-1) took home the 2010 Lipton Invitational title Saturday, winning five straight games in the tournament by an average of over five runs.

Check out all five game recaps and much more after the jump!

Competition started Friday when the Gators shutout the Campbell Camels (1-4-1) 7-0 due to a school-record six home runs. Leading their team to victory, junior first baseman Megan Bush had lead-off home runs in back-to-back plate appearances, and junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (4-1) blanked Campbell over five innings while compiling a season-high 11 strikeouts. Six of Florida’s seven runs came on solo homers from five different Gators including Bush (4th, 6th), sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie (4th), junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (6th), freshman C Kelsey Horton (6th) and junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (7th).

Later that evening, Florida continued its dominance with a 12-4 win (six innings) over the Kansas Jayhawks (2-5). Junior second baseman Aja Paculba went 4-4 with a career-high five RBI. In all, seven UF players accounted for 14 hits and freshman pitcher Erin Schuppert (1-0) earned her first career win in four innings of relief with seven strikeouts while allowing only two runs. Freshman Ensley Gammel got the start.

Saturday began with Florida taking on the previously undefeated Marshall Thundering Heard (7-1), who were beaten 8-0 in five innings. Moultrie hit her second home run in as many days, going 1-2 with a stolen base and a key sacrifice bunt. Brombacher (5-1) earned the win after throwing a complete game with five strikeouts (four looking). She allowed five hits but only walked one, handing Marshall’s Katie Murphree (5-1) her first loss of the season. Freshman designated player Brittany Schutte hit the Gators’ first triple of the year in the contest as senior outfielder Francesca Enea and Bruder each smacked a homer in the fifth inning.

Florida stayed on the field after the win to take on the East Carolina Pirates immediately following their first game Saturday. The Gators continued their hot streak, using a seventh-inning moon shot by Enea to topple the Pirates (2-5) 4-3. Brombacher (6-1) started in the dugout this time, coming out in relief of freshman starter Erin Schuppert. She pitched 4.1 innings to earn her sixth win of the season, striking out eight while allowing four hits and a run.

On short rest, UF was looking to close out the Lipton Invitational early Sunday afternoon, taking on East Carolina once again. Brombacher (7-1) returned to the mound and earned her seventh win in with her second shutout of the season. She struck out seven, allowing only two hits and three walks as the Gators reigned over the Pirates (2-7) 1-0 for the title. After Paculba got on base in the first inning, Enea recorded Florida’s only hit of the game to bring her home and earn the Gators the win.

After playing five games in under three full days, Florida has the week off before hosting the Northwestern State Demons in a three-game series Feb. 27-28.

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