|SUNday Softball RESULTS
|Florida 6, Kentucky 3
|LSU 10, Texas A&M 2
|Tennessee 6, Auburn 0
|Georgia 2, South Carolina 0
|Mississippi State 8, Ole Miss 0
|Arkansas 11, Missouri 10
No. 3/4 Gator Softball Clinches Series at No. 18/19 Kentucky With 6-3 Victory Sunday
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 3/4 Florida softball team clinched its sixth SEC series of the season with a 6-3 victory against the No. 18/19 Kentucky Wildcats Sunday in Lexington at John Cropp Stadium, improving to 41-5 (14-4 SEC) on the season.
Freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) went a career-tying 3-for-3 in Saturday’s series finale with the Wildcats, connecting for a triple, homer, knocking in a team-best three RBI, while also scoring two of Florida’s six runs in the victory. UF put up nine hits, as six different Gator batters connected Sunday. Freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) continued her hot weekend with a 2-for-4 performance in the series finale.
The Florida freshman trio of Stewart, Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) and Schwarz led Florida at the plate through the weekend set against Kentucky, Stewart with a .545 clip (6-11), while Merritt and Schwarz both turned in 3-9 performances (.333). The Gators connected for a double, triple and four homers through the three-game series in Lexington.
With two wins over the ranked Wildcats, the Gators improved to 8-4 against top-25 opponents this season, using Friday’s 7-4 (.636) win and Sunday’s 6-3 victory to add two to the tally. Florida will return to John Cropp Stadium May 8-11 for the 2013 SEC Tournament, hosted by Kentucky.
The Gators scattered runs in four of seven innings Sunday, posting one in the first and sixth and two each in the second and third to top Kentucky.
A total effort from the Gators’ bullpen helped the Orange and Blue to the series win Sunday, as Florida used all three righties in its arsenal to hold off Kentucky. Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned the start in the circle for the Gators in Sunday’s rubber match, while sophomore Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) came on in relief in the bottom of the fourth for 2.1 innings of work to pick up the win (7-0). Sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) worked the final 1.2 innings to pick up her second save of the season.
Florida faced both Lauren Cumbess (8-5) and Kelsey Nunley, Cumbess for the first 2.1 innings, before Nunley closed out the final 4.2 for UK. The Gators struck out just twice Sunday, its least amount of Ks in conference play and the least since three against Ole Miss March 31.
Haeger started the game out offensively for UF, sending a one-out RBI single up the middle to plate freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) in the top of the first. Stewart sent a base hit to left to set things up for Haeger’s 48th RBI of the season.
A Griffin Joiner RBI double in the home half of the frame for Kentucky knotted things up at 1-1 between the Gators and Wildcats heading to the second, where Florida put up a two-spot, using three hits in the inning. Schwarz went yard with her fifth homer of the season, a solo shot, to lead off the frame for the Orange and Blue.
Next up, freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) connected for a base hit to left field and sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) dropped a sacrifice bunt to move her to second. With two outs on the board, freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) sent a single through the right side to bring Fuller across home for the 3-1 Gator advantage heading to the third.
UF didn’t back down, adding two runs on two hits, as Schwarz connected for her second hit of the day, a two-RBI success down the left-field line. Sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) sent a bouncer through the right side to put both in scoring position for Schwarz’s 20th and 21st RBI of the season and the 5-1 Gator lead, while also chasing Cumbess from the circle in favor of Nunley.
Kentucky was resilient, battling back with a two-run third frame for a 5-3 differential, still in favor of the Gators. Christian Stokes sent a double to right center, but was erased at second on a Joiner fielder’s choice. Next up, Cumbess, playing first base, sent a two-run homer to right center to bridge the gap and bring the Wildcats within two runs.
Florida opted to trade Rogers for Bache in the circle in the bottom of the fourth, and the sophomore righty was effective, holding the Wildcats scoreless in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Schwarz continued her stellar afternoon, leading off the top of the sixth with her first career triple, while Stewart used her speed to beat out a two-out infield single to plate Schwarz for the 6-3 Gator lead.
With Kentucky threatening in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on third and one out, the Gators brought in Haeger in the circle to finish things out for the Orange and Blue and Bache. A fielder’s choice with a play at the plate prevented UK from scoring, while also putting up the second out of the inning. With bases loaded after a walk, Haeger then forced Stokes to fly out to Merritt in center to hold off and strand three Wildcats.
No. 13 Softball Batters No. 10 Texas A&M, 10-2
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 13 LSU softball team garnered another solid offense effort fueled by a seven-run third inning and eight players collected RBIs as the Tigers came away with a 10-2 win over No. 10 Texas A&M in five innings Sunday during the rubber game of three-game series at the Aggie Softball Complex.
With victory, LSU (35-9, 11-4 SEC) secured its fifth straight SEC series victory and remained in sole possession of first place in the SEC Western Division standings. The last time the Aggies (34-9, 6-8 SEC) were handed a five-inning run rule defeat was versus Oklahoma State during the 2009 season.
“I think Sunday’s in the SEC are all about heart and guts,” head coach Beth Torina said. “Our players did a great job of finding a way to win and finding a way to win this series on the road. Coach Dobson preaches to our offense about staying in the hitting plan, making sure that we’re selective and swinging at our pitch.”
The Tigers sent 13 batters to the plate during the third inning and busted open a tie ballgame to grab a seven-run advantage.
Bianka Bell and Sandra Simmons drew a pair of walks sandwiched between an A&M fielding error to fill the bases. On the first pitch of the sequence, Tammy Wray ripped the go-ahead RBI single though the left side to give LSU a 3-2 advantage.
Lauren Houston, Simone Heyward and Jacee Blades coaxed bases loaded free passes to stretch the lead to 6-2. In her second plate appearance, Bell smacked a RBI single to deep into the hole at second base. An A&M throwing error enabled Blades to score to make it 9-2.
LSU added another run in the fourth inning after Tammy Wray led off the frame with a sharp single down the left field line. Pinch runner Alex Boulet was inserted into the game and advanced to second base on a Houston sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Boulet raced home on Andrews’ RBI single through the middle for the final margin of 10-2.
Rachele Fico went the distance for the Tigers and improved to 22-7 on the season. The senior right-hander held the potent A&M offense to a pair of hits and registered four strikeouts versus five walks.
“Rachele kept us in the series, and I thought she was in control the entire way in today’s game,” Torina said. “She threw more balls than I would have liked at times, but Texas A&M has a very powerful offense. There are times when you have pitch around them, and I thought Rachele executed her game plan very well.”
“Winning this series is huge for our group,” Fico said. “We showed so much fight and so much mental strength to be able to bounce back to win two games in a row. I was able to settle down, trust my pitches, change speeds and hit my spots after a rough first inning. I wasn’t nervous at all, and I knew our offense would pull it out because they’ve been swinging the bats so well.”
LSU fired out to a 2-0 edge during the first inning. Blades was hit-by-a-pitch on the foot, while Falcon belted a two-run home run to left field. For Falcon, it was her fifth dinger of the season and first since the Mississippi State finale on March 10.
“Both Allison and Tammy have been swinging well at practice,” Torina said. “They’ve worked extremely hard to get themselves back on track both mentally and physically. They’ve done some things to adjust their swings, and they get a lot of credit for the win today.”
The Aggies charged back with a two-run homer of their own courtesy of Nicole Morgan. A&M loaded the bases, but Fico buckled down to get Meagan May to foul out to keep the score at 2-2.
Fico used the same formula and stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning. She once again got May to foul out to end the threat.
“We definitely changed the approach and the pitching game plan,” Fico said. “What helps me be successful is that I can use different pitches on different days. We were using a lot of drop balls, and it was working for us to be able to get a lot of ground balls outs.”
Wilkinson Leads Georgia to 2-0 Win
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Chelsea Wilkinson spun a gem from the circle to help the University of Georgia softball team to a 2-0 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday, April 14 at Beckham Field in Columbia, S.C. Georgia put up five hits, but it was a two-run home run by Geri Ann Glasco that sealed the win. Georgia improves to 31-14 on the year and 8-7 in Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina dropped to 22-19 and 2-13 in league play. The win also sealed the series for the Bulldogs, who have now won three SEC series this season.
Wilkinson got the start for the Bulldogs, did not allow a run and gave up just three hits on the day to improve to 4-2 on the season. She also tied her career-best with six strikeouts. Julie Sarratt earned the start for the Gamecocks, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks in the complete game performance to drop to 5-5 on the year.
Wilkinson did a masterful job in the circle for the Bulldogs. After getting out of jams in the first and second innings, the freshman threw five 1-2-3 innings for the Bulldogs, retiring the final 14 batters she faced. She also did her part offensively, delivering a two-out double in the top of the fifth. It was the first hit of her career.
After three scoreless innings, Paige Wilson reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Glasco followed with her fourth two-run home run of the weekend that put the Bulldogs up 2-0. The home run brought her season total 17, the most of any player in the SEC. The homer also was her 52nd and 53rd RBI of the season, also an SEC best mark.
Georgia looked to add to its lead in the sixth and seventh innings, loading the bases in both. Wilson picked up a single in the sixth that was followed by an error that allowed Tina Iosefa to reach. A walk to Tess Sito loaded the bases, but a diving play at second ended the sixth-inning threat. The Bulldogs loaded the bases again in the seventh, as a walk by Christine Olney, a Niaja Griffin single and Wilson single loaded the bases. A fielder’s choice ended the inning for the Bulldogs.
Wilkinson came on to throw the final inning for the Bulldogs and struck out the first two batters she faced before getting the final out on a pop up to short that sealed the 2-0 win for the Bulldogs.
NO. 3 TENNESSEE SHUTS DOWN AUBURN, 6-0, TO SWEEP SERIES
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --Madison Shipman drove in three runs, Kat Dotson went 3-for-4, Cheyanne Tarango and Melissa Davin homered and Ellen Renfroe struck out five over 5.2 shutout innings as No. 3 Tennessee defeated Auburn, 6-0, on Sunday to sweep the season series and extend UT's winning streak to 15 games.
Tennessee (38-6, 12-3 SEC) scored two in the first and four in the third to improve to 12-3 in SEC play. Auburn (27-18, 6-12 SEC) loaded the bases in the fourth and the sixth, but the Tigers could not bring in a run.
Dotson had a double and two singles, scored twice and made an incredible diving grab in right field in the second inning to rob Caitlin Schultze of a hit. Shipman had a two-RBI double in the first and an RBI fielder's choice in the third. Tarango blasted a two-run shot in the fourth and Davin followed with a solo homer as their back-to-back jacks rounded out UT's four-run fourth. Tory Lewis went 2-for-3 with a single up the middle and an infield hit.
Ellen Renfroe (13-1) started and tossed 5.2 scoreless frames and fanned five batters to earn her 13th win of the season. Ivy Renfroe had one strikeout in 1.1 scoreless relief innings.
Lexi Davis (7-8) took the loss after starting and allowing two earned runs over two innings. Hilary Mavromat allowed four earned runs in four relief innings.
Tennessee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Raven Chavanne hit a leadoff single to center field and Dotson followed with a single to the circle. Two batters later, Shipman crushed a two-run double to right center.
In the bottom of the third, UT poured on four more runs in the bottom of the third to gain firmer hold third. Dotson led off the inning with a well-place double down the right field line and advanced to third on a passed ball. With one out, Shipman hit an RBI fielder's choice to short with Dotson sliding in safe at home. Tarango belted two-run homer to left field. In the next at-bat, Davin sent the first pitch she saw to center field for a solo jack.
Auburn had a chance to put some runs on the board in the fourth. Tiffany Howard led off the inning with a single up the middle. Three batters later, Schultze and Caitlin Jordan drew back-to-back walks with two outs to load the bases. Ellen Renfroe escaped the jam when she struck out Jade Rhodes with a swinging third strike on a full count.
The Tigers also left the bases juiced in the top of the sixth. Schultze drew a two-out walk and Ivy Renfroe entered to relive Ellen Renfroe in the circle. After a single by Jordan, Rhodes drew a walk to load the bases. Ivy Renfroe escaped unscathed when she struck out pinch hitter Austyn West on a 2-2 count.
Tennessee dominated the three-game series, outscoring Auburn, 17-4, and outhitting the Tigers .346 to .160 this weekend.
Becker Throws No-Hitter To Give MSU Second-Straight Sweep Vs. Ole Miss
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker tossed her second career no-hitter as the Mississippi State softball team (27-14,
6-9 SEC) routed arch-rival Ole Miss (21-26, 2-16 SEC), 8-0, in six innings Sunday afternoon at the MSU Softball Stadium. The 15th no-hitter in school history (second in conference play) gave MSU its second-straight sweep against the Rebels and improved the Bulldogs’ winning streak in the series to eight games.
“Stephanie was as sharp as a tack today and barely missed anything we called,” said Head Coach Vann Stuedeman, who upped her record to a flawless 12-0 against in-state opponents. “She is a gutsy player and was on point today.”
Becker threw 77 unhittable pitches in her domination of the Rebels, becoming the fourth pitcher in school history to record multiple no-hitters. The southpaw struck out four and allowed only one baserunner (third-inning walk) in her second complete-game of the season.
Becker’s no-no also marked the 26th career no-hitter coached by Stuedeman, as well as the 235th career shutout for the dugout general.
“You can’t have a no-hitter without great defense, and our defense was awesome today,” Becker said. “Everyone had my back as always and Vann called a great game as usual.”
Offensively, junior catcher Sam Lenahan went 1-for-1 with two runs, a walk and an RBI, finishing the weekend sweep with a .600 batting average and a .750 on-base percentage. Fellow junior Heidi Shape finished
2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, giving her 12 RBIs in her last six games against Ole Miss. Redshirt sophomore Julia Echols (1-for-2) also knocked in two, while senior Jessica Cooley (1-for-2, run) and sophomore Erika Gaul (0-for-1) drove in one run each. Junior Jessica Offutt led off for MSU and went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Bully Bombers pounded out seven of their eight runs in the first two frames, including a four-run opening inning. Offutt took first base with a leadoff walk and advanced to second when Cooley joined her on the base paths thanks to catcher’s interference. With runners on first and second, Stuedeman called for the double steal. Offutt slid in safely at third, but scored when the throw to third rolled into left field. Cooley moved to third on the error and was joined on the corners when Lenahan drew her team-leading 37th walk of the season. Junior Logan Foulks then made it to first on a fielder’s choice when Cooley was tagged out at home on a 5-2 putout.
Two runners stood on the bag for redshirt sophomore Briana Bell, who singled up the middle to load the bases. Shape gave MSU its second run of the day with a single to right, driving in Lenahan. The Bulldogs scored their final two runs of the first stanza when Echols hit a two-out single, scoring both Foulks and Bell.
State added three more runs in the second, the first of which came on Cooley’s fifth home run of the year. The Birmingham Bomber’s solo shot to straightaway center field was followed by Lenahan getting hit by a pitch and advancing to second on an illegal pitch. Foulks walked and Bell singled yet again to put a runner on every base. Just like the first inning, Shape drove in Lenahan with a single. Gaul then pinch hit for senior Shelby Fisher, and proceeded to record her first career RBI with a groundout to shortstop, scoring Foulks.
The game-ending run in the bottom of the sixth came when Lenahan belted a first-pitch offering with no outs to deep right field, allowing speedy freshman Loryn Nichols to tag from third and score for the series-sweeping victory.
Razorbacks roar back to take series from No. 8 Tigers
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the No. 8 Missouri Tigers, 11-10, in eight innings on Sunday in Columbia, Mo. at University Field.
Arkansas rallied from a 5-4 deficit and scored six runs in the seventh inning. Missouri answered with five runs of its own to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. The Hogs scored in the top of the eighth and senior pitcher Chelsea Cohen worked a scoreless final frame to give Arkansas its first series win over a Top 10 team, on the road, since April 2010.
“That was a crazy game,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “We gave a national audience a great show. This is going to be a great rivalry going forward. I am happy with the way our kids kept fighting. We wanted it more today.”
Clarisa Navarro scored the game-winning run in the top of the 8th inning on a wild pitch. The junior from La Joya, Texas went 3-for-4 on the day and tied the game in the top of the seventh with a solo-homerun. Her defense proved key in the bottom of the eighth when she turned a double play with the bases loaded and zero outs in the inning.
“Navarro had an amazing day,” Larabee said. “She played solid defense all game and reached base every time that she was at bat today.”
Amanda Geile put the Hogs ahead in the seventh inning on a three-run homerun to make the score 8-5. Chloe Oprzedek also homered in the game, a two-run blast in the fifth inning.
After two walks in game two, Wallace walked to start game three. This gave the sophomore an NCAA-leading 57 on the year. She was caught stealing and broke a 9-for-9 stolen base streak to end inning number one.
Emily Crane reached base on an infield single to start Missouri’s half of the first. She stole second and eventually scored on a two-out single from Angela Randazzo. Arkansas starter Kimmy Beasley battled back and struck out Kelsea Roth to end the first and keep the score at 1-0.
Navarro and Sierra Bronkey led off the second inning with back-to-back singles. However, the Razorbacks were unable to plate either runner as Missouri starter Chelsea Thomas worked out of the jam.
After Mackenzie Sykes and Corrin Genovese reached to start the bottom of the second, Beasley faced Kelsi Jones with two runners on. She battled back and struck out Jones. Kayla Kingsley followed the strikeout and ground out for out number two. Crane was then intentionally walked to load the bases for Jenna Marston. She skied a ball to centerfield but Stephanie Canfield ran it down and retired the side, showing great speed in the process.
Amanda Summerford drew a four-pitch walk with one out in the third inning. Wallace followed the walk with her second base on balls of the day. Canfield worked a full count and then reached on a fielder’s choice as Summerford beat the throw to third. Oprzedek skied a ball to shallow centerfield, two Missouri defenders collided and all of the runners advanced, with Summerford crossing home-plate. Navarro followed the Arkansas run by plating one of her own on a single. Navarro’s 31st RBI of the season gave Arkansas a 2-1 lead.
After two straight walks to start the bottom of the third inning from Beasley, Arkansas turned to senior pitcher, Hope McLemore. The Ringling, Okla. native came in and got Roth to fly out to centerfield. Jayme Gee caught Hudson trying to steal third on the next pitch for out number two. McLemore cut down Sykes to end the third inning and work out of the jam.
Following a scoreless fourth inning, Wallace drew her third walk of the day to start the fifth inning. Two batters later, Oprzedek continued her fantastic weekend and belted a two-run bomb over the rightfield fence. Her ninth homerun of the season put Arkansas ahead, 4-1.
Missouri cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth as Randazzo and Roth notched back-to-back doubles with one out. Roth’s 32nd RBI of the year made the score 4-2. McLemore came back to retire Sykes and Genovese to keep the damage to a minimum.
Pinch-hitting Carlie Rose reached on an infield single to start the bottom of the sixth. Kingsley was then hit by a pitch and that put two runners on for Crane. She flied out to Canfield in center for out number one. Marston cut the lead to one in the next at bat as she singled up the middle. McLemore battled back and struck out Hudson for out number two. After a walk to Randazzo, Beasley was inserted back into the game in the circle. She worked a 3-2 count on Roth, but eventually walked in a run. This tied the game at four runs apiece. Missouri took the lead two pitches later as a wild pitch got away from Gee. Marston scored the make the score 5-4, Tigers.
It took Navarro one swing to tie the game in the seventh. She hit a ball deep into rightfield and the wind pushed it over the fence. Navarro’s second homerun of the season made the score 5-5. Bronkey followed the homer with a double. Nicole Schroeder walked to put two runners on in the seventh. Geile approached the plate and fell down in a 1-2 count. She skied a ball into rightfield and the wind carried it over the fence. The three-run blast put Arkansas up, 8-5. Gee followed the homer by reaching on an error. She came around to score two batters later on a Wallace sacrifice fly. Arkansas scored its 10th run on a wild pitch as Jennifer Rambo crossed the plate in the next at-bat.
Missouri battled in the bottom of the seventh as Kingsley and Crane notched back-to-back, one-out, singles. Marston then hammered a standup double to make the score 10-6. Hudson followed the double with a walk to load the bases for Randazzo. She walked and that cut the lead to three runs, as the bases remained loaded with one out for Roth. She swung at the first pitch and flied out to centerfield for out number two. Sykes singled in the Tigers’ next at bat to make the score 10-8. Genovese tied the game on the next pitch as she doubled into the rightfield wall. The senior captain, Cohen, was then inserted into the game and got pinch-hitting Rachel Hay to groundout and end the rally.
Navarro continued her excellent game and gave the Razorbacks a leadoff runner in the eighth. Schroeder belted a single to put runners at the corners for Geile. Two pitches later Navarro came home to score on a wild pitch. Her second run scored of the game gave the Hogs an 11-10 lead.
After back-to-back singles started the bottom of the eighth, Cohen walked Marston to load the bases for Hudson. She lined the first pitch into Navarro’s glove at shortstop. The junior then threw the ball to third base and doubled up Kingsley for out number two. Cohen walked pinch-hitting Alyssa Cousins to load the bases for Roth. She worked a 1-2 count and then blooped a ball to leftfield. Summerford came in to make the catch and give the Razorbacks the series win.