Arizona State walks off with 6-5 win over Florida in Women’s College World Series

By Adam Silverstein
June 4, 2011

The game may have begun Friday night but no conclusion was reached until early Saturday morning as No. 4 Florida Gators softball and the No. 1 Arizona State Sun Devils fought back-and-forth hoping to earn a victory in their second game of the 2011 Women’s College World Series. ASU (57-6) eventually came away with a 6-5 win over UF (53-11) at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK, getting the final say in the matter with a walk-off single in the final frame of the game.

Read the game story and find out about Saturday’s contest…after the break!

Senior right-handed pitcher Stephanie Brombacher, who started the contest for Florida, struggled against Arizona State’s bats and got in some trouble early due to a pair of miscues. Brombacher threw an illegal pitch to advance a runner to second in the bottom of the first; the baseman came home the next play via a two-out RBI single that gave the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead.

ASU piled on in the second, getting on base with back-to-back bunts. Fielding the second bunt, Brombacher tried to make a play at second but instead threw the ball deep into the outfield, allowing a runner to score and the hitter to advance to third. She would come around one play later on another RBI single, which got Brombacher pulled from the game after an inning of work for freshman RHP Hannah Rogers.

Getting three outs in the second, Rogers was victimized in the third when Sun Devils first baseman Mandy Urfer (2-2, HR, RBI, R, 2 BB) powered a home run to left field to put her team ahead 4-0.

Arizona State P Dallas Escobedo forced the Gators to strand a total of four runners on base in the first three innings and recorded strikeouts on Florida’s first seven outs of the game. Sophomore right fielder Brittany Schutte, who was up with runners on first and second in the top of the third, flew out to the warning track and was just about a foot from what would have been a game-tying homer.

Looking to reduce their deficit, the Gators offense got rolling in the fourth. Senior 1B Megan Bush (1-1, 3 BB) walked to lead off the inning, and senior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB) capitalized with a towering two-run homer to left to narrow the Sun Devils’ lead to 4-2. Sophomore designated player Ensley Gammel (1-3, R) then got on base with a single up the middle, and sophomore center fielder Michelle Moultrie followed with a two-run bomb of her own to tie the game 4-4.

After Moultrie’s homer, Florida continued to wear out Escobedo, placing runners on first and second with two outs and Schutte at the plate. She took advantage of the opportunity by hitting a ball deep into the gap in left center, sending seniors second baseman Aja Paculba and left fielder Kelsey Bruder home. Paculba (1-4, R) scored to put UF ahead 5-4, but Bruder (0-2, 2 BB) was tagged out at the plate on an 8-6-2 relay to end the frame.

ASU would not stay down long. After two hard-hit balls resulted in fly outs, RF Annie Lockwood smacked a homer to right, knotting the contest 5-5 to conclude the fourth.

The Gators threatened again in the sixth but to no avail. Moultrie (3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R) led off the inning with a stand-up double, but head coach Tim Walton chose not to sacrifice her over to third. Florida failed to send her home with Schutte (1-4, RBI) striking out looking to end the frame.

Arizona State responded in similar fashion, advancing a walked batter to second on a wild pitch to start the bottom of the sixth. A pair of walks – one intentional – loaded the bags with two outs, but Rogers got out of the inning unscathed by forcing a ground out.

Hoping to send the game into extra innings, UF started the seventh with an out. Rogers walked the next batter, who was then advanced to third by a single down the right field line. She then forced a grounder to shortstop, and freshman Cheyenne Coyle responded by throwing home to get the lead runner out. Rogers loaded the bases with another walk, providing Lockwood (3-3, HR, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB) with the opportunity to hit a walk-off single on a 2-2 count to advance ASU in the winner’s bracket.

With No. 7 California (44-12) and Oklahoma State (42-19) squaring off Saturday at noon, Florida will face the victor in an elimination game a few hours later at 7 p.m. The contest will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

4 Comments

  1. gatorgirl32 says:

    That was a great game by both teams. However, the most horrible umpiring I’ve seen in my life. It was unbelievable.

    Moultrie is on FIRE – I hope it continues and the Gators offense continues to produce as well! Lets GO GATORS.

    • hink says:

      Completely with you on the umpiring – it was as if the outside corner (to righties) didn’t exist to that ump. Hannah hit that corner several times in the last few innings without getting a single called strike out there.

      • SC_Gator says:

        Meanwhile the inside corner got called if it even smelt like a strike.

        I know we pride ourselves on our longball play but some bunting might have made a huge difference for us.

  2. Jackson says:

    The three early errors is what bothers me the most (Steph’s pitching error, Moultrie’s fielding error, and Paculba’s fielding error). That cost us at least one if not two runs.

    Fagan’s tough play at the end did not help. She should have been able to get her body in front and knock the ball down. I know it was a very tough play to field but not to knock down with her body.

    If two or three of those plays are made we win the game by two or three runs.

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