No. 4 Gators softball downs No. 13 Sun Devils, advances to Women’s College World Series

No. 4 Florida Gators softball (48-8) won its second straight game against the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-17), defeating them 5-2 on Sunday in the second game of the Gainesville Super Regional to advance to the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series. Florida’s berth to the event is their third in as many years.

The Gators outscored the Sun Devils 13-2 over the weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, with junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (34-6) earning both victories in back-to-back complete game efforts. She did not allow a single run over the first 12 innings before letting ASU score one in both the sixth and seventh on Sunday.

Like Saturday, junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-2) led the way for Florida offensively with three RBI off of two home runs. Fellow junior first baseman Megan Bush (1-3) added a solo shot of her own, giving the Gators a 4-0 lead going into the last six outs.

Florida will begin the WCWS by facing No. 5 UCLA in Oklahoma City, OK, on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

Baseball selected to host a regional

No. 4 Florida baseball (42-15) has been announced by the NCAA as the host of one of 16 regionals for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Four teams, including the Gators, will compete in the Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium beginning on June 4.

The NCAA will announce the entire 64-team field (including Florida’s three initial opponents) live on ESPN on Monday at 12:30 p.m. This will be the third time in the last six years that a regional has been hosted in Gainesville, FL.

Photo Credit: University of Florida

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FOUR BITS: Softball up one, doubles falls, track

1 » No. 4 Florida Gators softball (47-8) began its quest for a berth in the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series with an 8-0 shutout of the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-16) while hosting the Gainesville Super Regional on Saturday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (33-6) has been dynamite in the postseason; she recorded her 11th shutout of the year, pitching a complete game and only yielding four hits. Junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-3) and senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (2-2) each led the Gators with three RBI, while freshman designated player Brittany Schutte (2-3) added two. Florida hopes to conclude Super Regional action by prevailing in the second game, Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

2 » The Gators’ No. 5 doubles pair of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will was eliminated from competition for the 2010 NCAA National Championship Saturday, falling 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 to Tennessee’s No. 1 duo of Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. Florida tennis – both men’s and women’s – has now been completely removed from NCAA competition for this season.

Find out which Gators qualified for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships and what sport Georgia is going after Florida in…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Softball up one, doubles falls, track

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FOUR BITS: Baseball wins another, five more qualify, doubles advances, softball begins

1 » In their second-straight elimination game, No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (42-14), the top seed in the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament, topped the fifth-seed Vanderbilt Commodores (41-17) 5-2 on Friday night at Regions Park in Hoover, AL. Freshman starter Hudson Randall (7-3) earned the win after giving up one earned run over 5.1 innings; freshman reliever Steven Rodriguez tossed two shutout innings for his first save of the season. Junior sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker (2-5) led the way for the Gators offensively with a home run and two RBI; freshman designated hitter Brian Johnson (1-2) added a RBI of his own. Florida moves on to face Alabama on Saturday at 2 p.m. in their third consecutive elimination game. The contest will air live on Sun Sports and ESPN3.com.

2 » Five more members of Gators track and field advanced to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday while competing at the 2010 NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track. Junior thrower Kemal Mesic (first – men’s shot put) and sprinters sophomore Jeff Demps (fourth – men’s 100m dash), junior Terrell Wilks (ninth – men’s 100m dash), senior Calvin Smith (second – men’s 400m dash) and freshman Tony McQuay (10th – men’s 400m dash) are all earning trips to Eugene, OR, to compete for titles. They join the seven other Florida track & field stars who qualified on Thursday.

3 » The No. 5-ranked Florida doubles pair of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will have advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA National Championship after squeaking out a three-set victory over Stetson’s pair of Carolina de los Santos and Valentina Galbrini – 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 – at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. As a singles competitor, No. 8 will fell 6-1, 6-5 to Georgia’s No. 12-ranked Chelsey Gullickson earlier in the day.

4 » No. 4 Gators softball (46-8) is set to begin 2010 NCAA Super Regional action Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they host the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-15) in up to a three-game series at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. The first game will air live on both ESPN and ESPN3.com, while the second game will take place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m., airing live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. Game three, if necessary, will be played Sunday evening.

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FOUR BITS: Shipman playing football, two signees

1 » According to his father, former Florida Gators guard Ray Shipman, who transferred from the basketball team just a few weeks ago, has decided to switch sports. Rather than transfer to play basketball, Shipman will leave to try his hand at playing football – more specifically the position of safety. Shipman was named the state of Florida’s Mr. Basketball in 2008 but never really established himself on the college level.

2 » No. 4 Gators baseball (40-13) will begin the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament as a No. 1 seed Wednesday night against the defending national champion LSU Tigers (36-20). The double-elimination event, which is being played in Hoover, AL, will feature Florida in its third game and is set to air live on CSS at 5:30 p.m. The Gators swept the Tigers during the regular season, outscoring them 28-14 in three home games from April 30 to May 2.

3 » Florida softball signed a fifth player to their 2010 signing class on Tuesday, receiving a National Letter of Intent from Ashley Snedeker (Bloomington, MN). “Ashley is a very good addition to our 2011 roster,” head coach Tim Walton said in a release. “She is dynamic and is going to provide us with some athleticism at the plate and in the field. She is a proven winner at every level, and I am really excited to add her to our program.”

4 » Also signing a National Letter of Intent with the Gators Tuesday was sprinter Darshay Davis (Miramar, FL), who is joining the school’s women’s track & field team. “I would like to make the biggest impact as possible as a freshman next season,” Davis told the Miami Herald. “I know I will have more competition. I won’t be on top, but I expect to run pretty fast. At least finish top eight indoors and outdoors in the SEC and NCAA.”

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Gators softball advances with wins vs. UCF, FIU

No. 4 Florida Gators softball (46-8) has advanced to its fourth straight 2010 NCAA Super Regional appearance with three straight victories over the weekend as the home team in the Gainesville Regional. After defeating Bethune-Cookman (32-23) 6-0 on Friday, Florida shutout the Central Florida Knights (36-15) 6-0 on Saturday and topped the Florida International Panthers (38-21) 13-3 in the clincher on Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Junior Stephanie Brombacher (32-6) notched her second and third wins of the tournament on Saturday and Sunday, pitching complete games in all three weekend contests. She helped the Gators finish 10-1 against in-state rivals on the season.

Saturday, junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-4) led the way with three RBI and a home run – her second in as many games, 13th of the season and 98th for the team this year. Sophomore OF Michelle Moultrie (3-4, two runs) and junior second baseman Aja Paculba (2-3, two RBI, one run) provided solid offensive contributions.

A different set of Florida players led the way Sunday with freshman OF Brittany Schutte (1-2) hitting her first career grand slam while totaling five RBI, two runs and two walks. Junior first baseman Megan Bush (3-4) smacked three RBI and came home for two runs, while Bruder (2-3) added another nice performance with three runs scored.

The Gators will face the winner of the No. 13 Arizona State-Long Island game in Super Regional action (likely to be held in Gainesville, FL) May 28-30. The NCAA has announced that all games will be aired live by ESPN.

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TWO BITS: Softball wins, m-tennis falls in NCAAs

1 » Though they had to suffer through a two-hour rain delay, Gainesville Regional hosts No. 4 Florida Gators softball (44-8) defeated the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (32-23) 6-0 in the first game of the 2010 NCAA Tournament on Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (30-6) rang up 11 opposing hitters over seven innings to earn her 30th win in a complete game effort. In support, junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (1-3) tallied three RBI and junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-3) nailed her 12th home run of the season (and the team’s 97th) in the second inning. The Gators will face Central Florida (which defeated Florida International 7-1 on Friday) in the first game of the day on Saturday.

2 » On the opposite end of the spectrum is No. 6 Florida men’s tennis (21-5), which ended their season Friday with a 4-2 upset loss to the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs (20-8) in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. The No. 8 doubles pair of redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau and junior Alexandre Lacroix, which led the Gators all season, fell 8-3; each player also lost their singles matches. In fact, none of Florida’s ranked players or pairs were victorious Friday. Benneteau and Lacroix will continue competing in NCAA individual tournaments where they will participate without being tied to a team result.

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FOUR BITS: Baseball sweeps Georgia, tennis advances to Round of 16, softball hosts regional

1 » With two games in hand, No. 4/5 Florida Gators baseball (37-12, 20-7 SEC) swept their series against the Georgia Bulldogs with a 9-3 win Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Freshman starting pitcher Brian Johnson (5-2) tossed 5.2 strong innings, striking out three while only giving up one earned run. Sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker (1-3) and junior designated hitter Bryson Smith (2-3) each tallied two RBI, while freshman shortstop Nolan Fontana (2-4) and junior second baseman Josh Adams (1-3) both crossed home plate twice. Florida has now won eight consecutive contests over Georgia; the three-day total attendance of 14,619 set an all-time weekend series Gators record. UF will face North Florida on Tuesday before traveling to Columbia, SC, for a season-defining three-game series against the No. 8/12 South Carolina Gamecocks (41-11, 20-7 SEC). The Gators and Gamecocks are tied atop the Southeastern Conference regular season standings.

Three more BITS on women’s and men’s tennis advancing in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and softball’s honors and hosting duties…after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Baseball sweeps Georgia, tennis advances to Round of 16, softball hosts regional

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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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