March 21, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - In front of a crowd of 1,677 at the Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., No. 6 Tennessee (24-5, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) was dealt a 7-0 setback by No. 1 Florida (31-2, 10-0 SEC) in the second game of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader.
From the circle senior Danielle Pieroni (4-1) suffered her first collegiate defeat after allowing one unearned run on two hits with two walks and a pair of K's in 2.0 innings of work. Freshman Cat Hosfield tossed four frames in relief, permitting six earned runs on nine hits while striking out three.
Tennessee left a runner stranded in the top of the first against UF's Brombacher after junior first baseman Tiffany Huff had reached via a fielding error. Despite allowing a lead-off walk to Florida second baseman Aja Paculba in the bottom half, Pieroni kept the Gators off balance, posting strikeouts of right fielder Kelsey Bruder and first baseman Ali Gardiner as part of a solid one-two-three inning.
Lapicki delivered UT's initial hit of the contest in the top of the second by ripping a two-out single back up the middle of the infield. Freshman designated player Shelby Burchell hit a Brombacher offering off the end of the bat and the ball landed foul outside the first base line before spinning back into the field of play. Gardiner corralled the sphere and stepped on the first base bag, completing the frame.
The Gators threatened to get on the board in the bottom half of the second as a UT fielding error on a Corrie Brooks grounder granted UF a lead-off base runner. Shortstop Megan Bush advanced Brooks into scoring position via a sacrifice bunt out in front of the dish. Catcher Kristina Hilberth delivered a single to center as Brooks raced around third, attempting to score. Grieve nabbed the ball and came up throwing as her strike to the plate was in time to nail the runner as Lapicki applied the tag for the second out. A walk and a stolen base from center fielder Michelle Moultrie and a UT passed ball granted Florida occupants at second and third. Designated player Alicia Sisco bounced a RBI single back up the middle, scoring Hilberth for a 1-0 lead. On the play, Grieve recorded her second outfield assist of the inning as her lazer toss gunned down Moultrie at home plate, keeping the Gators to just one tally.
With Brombacher in control of UT's offense from the circle through three frames, UF's Paculba attempted to get another Florida scoring chance going in the bottom of the third. She opened the inning against reliever Hosfield by singling just out of reach of Spigner at third and soon swiped second to achieve scoring position. Bruder grounded to second base, advancing the runner within 60 feet of paydirt. Gardiner hit a hard grounder to Spigner at third that the UT fielder nabbed before tossing across the diamond for the second out. Paculba managed to score from third on the play, however, as Florida's advantage expanded to 2-0. Left fielder Francesca Enea battled Tennessee's 5-9 right hander over 13 pitches before eventually striking out as the frame came to a close.
Webb laced a sharp single through the right side of the infield with two down in the top of the fourth. The Big Orange couldn't string together a rally, however, as Kajitani bounced a routine grounder to short as Bush made the play in time for UF.
The Gators utilized the long ball to add to their advantage in the bottom of the fourth. Brooks opened the frame by hammering a solo shot to center and was followed immediately by Bush who cracked a shot over the wall in left upping Florida's advantage to 4-0. After Hilberth was struck by a pitch, Moultrie tried to sacrifice her to second, but popped up to Lapicki behind the plate. Sisco went down swinging on three pitches, marking the second out of the inning. Paculba dropped a bunt single out in front of the plate, placing a pair of Gators aboard with Bruder stepping to the dish. The UF right fielder bounced sharply to short, but UT's Andrews made the play, tossing to Webb at second for an inning-ending, 6-4 fielder's choice.
The Lady Vols went down in order in the fifth and sixth innings against Brombacher, as UT's Hosfield did her best to keep Tennessee within potential striking distance.
The Murfreesboro, Tenn., hurler retired the opening two Gators in the bottom of the sixth before Sisco got a threat started by slapping a high chopper off the hard-packed infield and over Andrews at short for a single. Paculba followed by lacing the first pitch she received just past a diving Andrews for a base hit as UF boasted runners at first and second. Bruder and Gardiner followed by delivering consecutive two-baggers, plating three more Florida scores as the lead expanded to 7-0. Enea struck out swinging to conclude the frame, but the damage had already been done as the Orange & Blue plated three runs via four consecutive two-out hits.
With one final chance to get on the scoreboard, Spigner christened the top of the seventh by drawing a lead-off walk. Unfortunately, a Webb pop-up on the infield and a pair of UT strikeouts ended the contest.
No. 6 Tennessee concludes its series against No. 1 Florida on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The Sports Animal (AM 990, 99.1 & 99.3 FM) will radio broadcast the final contest with Chip Kain calling the action. Live stats will be available through utladyvols.com via Gametracker.