No. 5 Bruins thrash No. 4 Gators in WCWS opener

No. 4 Florida Gators softball (48-9) shouldered a tough loss Thursday, dropping the opening game of the 2010 Women’s College World Series 16-3 in six innings to the No. 5 UCLA Bruins (46-11). The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK, and the game’s umpires did not do Florida any favors, calling their pitchers for almost half-a-dozen illegal pitches over the course of the game.

Megan Langenfeld (12-1), pitching 4.2 innings in relief, took home the victory for UCLA after starter Aleah Macon gave up three earned runs in the first 1.1 innings. Gators junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (34-7) was pulled after surrendering five earned runs in 2.1 innings, including a three-run first-inning homer to Bruins outfielder Andrea Harrison. Freshman Ensley Gammel replaced Brombacher but was just as ineffective, allowing six earned runs off of five hits and five walks in 2.2 innings.

UCLA’s 16 runs set a WCWS record for most in a game, and the total of 19 between the two teams also set a WCWS mark for most combined runs in a game.

Leading the way for Florida offensively was junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (2-3), who drove in all of the team’s runs on a double in the third inning.

Though the Gators lost, the WCWS is a double-elimination tournament and the team has an opportunity to redeem itself Saturday at noon against Missouri. The game will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. Should Florida win, they will follow up the contest with a game Saturday evening at 7 p.m.

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TWO BITS: Softball falls, tennis rolls in tourneys

1 » No. 5/5 Florida Gators softball (43-7) was stunned Friday, losing 9-1 to the No. 17/11 LSU Tigers (43-13) in the semifinals of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament. Junior Stephanie Brombacher (29-6) started the game but was pulled after 2.1 innings when she allowed four runs and walked three batters. Freshman Ensley Gammel did not play any better in relief, being lit up for four runs in 1.1 innings. Cody Trahan (13-4) won the game for the Tigers, only allowing a solo home run to Florida junior shortstop Megan Bush. Sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie led the Gators’ lineup with two singles in three plate appearances. Knocked out of the SEC Tournament, Florida will now prepare for the 2010 NCAA Tournament, which begins on Thursday, May 20. The Gators will likely host at least the regional round.

2 » No. 3 women’s tennis (25-2), also holding down the No. 3-seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, swatted the South Carolina State Huskies (12-6) 4-0 in first round action at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, FL. Florida freshmen No. 8 Allie Will and No. 9 Lauren Embree each won their singles matches with the No. 5 doubles team of Will and senior Marrit Boonstra also taking their doubles match. Second-round action continues Saturday.

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Enea breaks SEC, Florida home run records; Gators softball sweeps Gamecocks in finale

No. 6/5 Florida Gators softball (42-7, 20-4 SEC) has been on a power stroke since the month of May began, outscoring opponents by a combined 47-1. That trend continued over the weekend as the ladies swept a three-game series with the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks (11-40, 1-27 SEC) in the final games of the 2010 regular season.

Though the Gators’ series sweep is nothing to shake a stick at, the story of the weekend came during Sunday’s game when senior outfielder Francesca Enea broke the Southeastern Conference career home run record (and her own Florida single-season home run record – 20) with the 61st moon shot of her career. In all, Enea knocked two homers while driving in six RBI over the weekend and was able to celebrate her triumph with a team victory on what was both Senior Day and Mother’s Day.

Florida scored 20 runs for the second time in three games in the first game of a doubleheader at Pressly Stadium on Saturday. The Gators beat the Gamecocks 20-0 in the opener (in which Enea hit her first home run of the weekend), 6-1 in the late game and 9-0 for the sweep in the finale on Sunday.

Junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice owned Saturday with a 4-6 performance for four RBI, two runs and a grand slam (the first of her career). Florida enjoyed another record on the afternoon with a single-game record 21 hits in the opening contest.

DeFelice’s classmate, junior OF Kelsey Bruder, led the team offensively over the course of the weekend, batting 5-8 (.625) with five runs, three RBI, one home run, a stolen base and three walks.

Junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (28-5) and freshman reliever Erin Schuppert tossed a combined no-hitter in the first game; Brombacher picked up the series finale on Sunday on her own with a complete-game one-hitter. In between, freshman Ensley Gammel (13-2) struck out seven in a complete game performance while only giving up one run on five hits – South Carolina’s only score of the series.

Next up for the Gators is the 2010 SEC Tournament, which takes place from May 13-15 at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, AR.

You can vote for Enea to win the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award representing excellence in the classroom, in the community, of character and in competition by clicking here.

Photo Credit: University of Florida

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FOUR BITS: Softball dominates, new commitments

1 » The word “dominate” is thrown around a lot, but that is exactly what No. 6/5 Florida Gators softball (39-7, 17-4 SEC) did Wednesday evening, shutting out the North Florida Ospreys (23-27) 22-0 and 8-0 in a doubleheader at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. The Gators won each game in five innings, hitting seven total home runs (six in the first game – tying UF single-game record) and scoring 30 runs. The 22 runs that crossed home plate in the first game of the series (14 in the third inning alone) set a school record. Wins were achieved by junior Stephanie Brombacher (26-5), who began a no-hitter with five strikeouts in three innings, and freshman Ensley Gammel (12-2), who struck out six and only gave up three hits.

Senior outfielder Francesca Enea (18), freshman first baseman Brittany Schutte (14), junior OF Kelsey Bruder (10), junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (7), senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (8) and freshman OF Kelsey Horton (4) hit the first six bombs, with DeFelice (8) adding a second in the late game. Schutte’s moon shot also broke Florida’s freshman home run record, last set in 2008.

2 » Gators women’s basketball added its sixth 2010-11 commitment Monday when Santa Fe College sophomore point guard Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, FL) signed a National Letter of Intent to join the University of Florida. “Lanita is a dynamic scoring point guard, who brings experience in the point guard position,” head coach Amanda Butler said. “She’s been in the Florida Junior College system for two years, which is consistently the most competitive in the country.”

3 » Also increasing its talent level is Florida’s track and field team, which added a commitment from Luc Lawrence (Fort Walton Beach, FL), Lawrence, who can run both track and cross country, began running in eighth grade and caught the eye of cross country coach Todd Morgan almost immediately.

4 » As OGGOA first reported on Twitter early Wednesday, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow officially had the top selling jersey in the month of April according to sales figures from NFLShop.com. Tebow’s new Broncos jersey was only available for eight days of the month (he was drafted on April 22), yet it easily surpassed jersey sales for new Washington Redskins QB Donovan McNabb, who was traded away from the Philadelphia Eagles on April 4 and came in second overall on the list.

“I think it’s an honor for people to want my jersey and want to have it and want to wear it,” Tebow told the Denver Post on Wednesday. “It is somewhat surreal to have it sell more than some of these people I grew up idolizing.”

Photo Credit: University of Florida

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SIX BITS: Nelson, Cunningham, softball, lax, UK

1 » On Feb. 1, OGGOA reported that former Florida Gators safety Reggie Nelson could be cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars if he does not show significant improvement by the time training camp concludes. Nelson owned up to ESPN about his issues in 2009 and has figured out why they occurred. “I had mistakes last year, I did,” he said. “I’ve watched film since I’ve been here in February and I can own up and say, ‘Yes, I did blow some coverages. Yes, I did miss tackles.’ That’s something I’ve looked at. I have to correct them. You’ve got to look at it: I played safety, corner, nickel, so many different positions. Most players would be like, ‘Oh, no, I’m not doing that, y’all drafted me for this.’ That’s not me, I want to win. I took that challenge, I played corner, I played nickel. I am a competitive guy. [...] They made their decision and I’ve got to live with it.” Nelson also said he will not do the same thing in 2010 – if it is up to him. “The way things happened last year, I don’t think I’d do it,” he said. “I will not do it. I tried that last year. It didn’t work. I don’t think it was fair to me. I would not go back. You live and you lean. It’s their decision, regardless. The only thing I can do is show up and play football.”

2 » The New England Patriots want former Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham to replace recently released outside linebacker Adalius Thomas – this much is known. How he will progress in the transition remains to be seen, but head coach Bill Belichick is just as confident as Cunningham is in himself. “It’s all football. I’m a football player,” Cunningham said. “I’m going to study the playbooks and just do whatever it takes to get better, and keep on getting better. […] I’m a hard worker and fundamental technician. […] Left or right, just get to the ball.” For what its worth, Cunningham has also taken to giving a name to the influx of former Gators with the Patriots – “Gator Nation North,” he calls it.

Four more BITS on softball, lacrosse, baseball and Kentucky basketball posting the lowest average GPA in the SEC…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Nelson, Cunningham, softball, lax, UK

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SIX BITS: Baseball, softball, track, tennis, golf, lax

1 » No. 7/9 Florida Gators baseball split the remaining two games of its away series against the Kentucky Wildcats, winning 6-3 Saturday night before falling 6-5 on Sunday. The Gators (25-10, 10-5 SEC) clinched their first series win in Lexington, KY, against the Wildcats (22-14, 5-10 SEC) at Cliff Hagan Stadium since 2004. Saturday, sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker (1-4) led the way with three RBI, while freshman designated hitter Austin Maddox (3-5) collected two runs. Freshman Hudson Randall got the start, but sophomore reliever Greg Larson (2-1) earned the win on 3.2 no-hit innings. Tucker went 2-5 Sunday, but Florida and sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (2-2) fell to Kentucky in the series finale.

2 » No. 3/4 softball also took a series win against UK over the weekend, winning two out of three games from Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Junior first baseman Megan Bush went 3-6 during the doubleheader on Saturday with a grand slam, while sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie contributed a 5-6 performance with two runs and a double. Junior Stephanie Brombacher and freshman Ensley Gammel (10-1) pitched, earning a win and loss, respectively. Gammel would also earn her fourth save in the first game. The Gators (34-5, 14-3 SEC) clinched the series Sunday against the Wildcats (27-18, 11-11 SEC) with senior OF Francesca Enea (2-3) grabbing two RBI and her 58th career home run. She is now within two of the all-time SEC record of 60. Brombacher (23-4) tossed a complete game for her second win of the weekend.

Four more BITS on track & field, tennis, golf and lacrosse…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Baseball, softball, track, tennis, golf, lax

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FOUR BITS: softball wins, Shaw, recruits, Knight

1 » Facing the No. 19/16 Florida State Seminoles in a doubleheader Wednesday, No. 3/4 Florida Gators softball swept their rivals with consecutive 8-4 and 9-2 victories on the road at JoeAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, FL. Florida (32-4, 12-2 SEC)’s winners were starters junior Stephanie Brombacher (21-4) and freshman Ensley Gammel (10-0), who tallied a combined 13.3 innings and eight strikeouts against FSU (36-10, 8-4 SEC). Freshman shortstop Brittany Walker went 4-7 on the day with two RBI, as junior second baseman Aja Paculba extended her hitting streak to 16 games – tying the longest in school history.

2 » “It was great to have all of that work,” Gators freshman cornerback Josh Shaw said of his playing time in the 2010 Orange & Blue Debut last weekend. “Some of it was good, some bad, but I feel like I’m getting better each time out.” Shaw, according to The Gainesville Sun is adjusting to his competitors’ speed and athleticism but is confident he will be able to follow in the footsteps of some of the team’s best cornerbacks.

3 » Florida men’s basketball may have lost out on two recruits Wednesday, but the women’s basketball and softball teams each brought in a new name. JuCo transfer guard Deana Allen (Houma, LA) has decided to join the Gators after averaging 19.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game at Pensacola Junior College. She is the fifth new recruit for the women’s team. Joining softball is utility player Chelsea Howell (Plantation, FL), the fourth player of her new team’s 2010-11 class.

4 » Interesting blog post today from Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald on new Kentucky Wildcats five-star guard commitment Brandon Knight, who had been leaning away from the Gators for quite some time. Some of the potential reasons he chose Kentucky aside from coaching and the school? “Exposure, creating the Brandon Knight brand, getting ready for the NBA, making money” and not playing with Kenny Boynton, Goodman writes.

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SIX BITS: Gators weekend wrap-up 4/9 – 4/11

Florida Gators athletics took home two titles and 10 overall victories this past weekend from Fri., April 9 to Sun., April 11. Get all the details…after the break!

1 » GYMNASTICS: No. 4 Florida Gators gymnastics captured the 2010 NCAA North Central Regional Championship.
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Gators weekend wrap-up 4/9 – 4/11

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