May 29, 2009

May 28-June 3, 2009
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.


Game 4: Florida 3, Arizona 0

  • No. 1 seed Florida improved to 61-3 with a 3-0 shutout of Arizona (46-16) in its largest margin of victory in the head-to-head series. The Gators improved to 4-2 all-time at the WCWS, while the Wildcats dropped to 57-28 in their 21 appearances in program history (second most behind only UCLA - 23).

  • Florida has won its last two meetings against the Wildcats, but still trails the all-time series 5-2. The Gators defeated Arizona 3-1 in eight innings on Feb 10, 2007, after being shut out by the Wildcats in the first five meetings.

  • Florida senior pitcher Stacey Nelson tossed a complete-game two-hitter to improve to 40-3 on the season. Arizona's hits came in the game's first two at bats. The first inning was the only frame in which Arizona had a player reach second base.

  • Florida lengthened its winning streak to 27 - its longest of the season. The Gators' last defeat came at the hands of Alabama (6-4) on March 28.

  • Francesca Enea blasted her 18th home run of the season, setting a Florida single-season record with her two-run, two-out shot in the bottom half of the first inning.

  • Enea tallied two RBI in the victory, pushing her school career record total to 157. Just a junior, Enea currently holds a seven-RBI lead over Emily Marino (1998-01).

  • Sophomore Megan Bush drove in the Gators' other run with her solo homer in the bottom of the second. It was the 15th blast of the season for the sophomore shortstop.

  • Florida's Aja Paculba hit safely in her team-leading 10th straight contest. The steak is tied for the longest by any Gator batter this season as Enea, Ali Gardiner and Kim Waleszonia have all had 10-game hitting streaks at some point on the year.

  • Arizona starting pitcher Lindsey Sisk gave up a pair of home runs for only the second time this season (also gave up two homers to Arizona State on April 29). The two home runs equaled her total over the previous seven games combined.

  • Arizona pitchers are allowing 6.6 hits per contest this postseason, including at least five in each of the last four games.

  • The Wildcats were defeated in the first round of the WCWS for the second straight year after winning their opening round game in five of the previous six years.

  • Florida is one of a record three Southeastern Conference teams in the 2009 WCWS field. The SEC went 1-2 on day one, with Florida as the lone victor. Alabama and Georgia both dropped first-day decisions.

  • Tonight's victory was the first by Florida in a WCWS opener. Making their first appearance at the Women's College World Series last season, the Gators lost their opener 3-2 in eight innings to La. - Lafayette before reeling off three straight wins (2-0 over Virginia Tech, 2-0 over UCLA, 6-1 over Texas A&M) to come within a game of the WCWS championship series.


Opening comment:
"Obviously, when you can beat Arizona at the College World Series you are doing something right. I have a lot of respect for what coach (Mike) Candrea has built there and without mentoring me personally he has done a great job of showing me the way to build a program. I try to emulate a lot of the things he does with class and build that and that's why we play the underdog role, and why I respect who they are and what they are as a program. They are a great team and a great offense, and not until the game was over did I feel comfortable because of the way they play. (Sarah) Akamine came in and did a phenomenal job pitching, keeping us in check. I give her a lot of credit and I thought their defense really kept the game tight, too. I am proud of being here, proud of these guys up here on stage and I am proud of the other 17 players as well."

On scoring early:
"I think when you look where we are at, at the College World Series, you have to do a good job of building momentum. With first and second, no outs in the first inning and the three, four, and five coming, I thought we could probably do some things. I don't really like to take the bat out of the middle of our lineup's hands so it was huge and Francesca's (Enea) hit. We have had a lot of big hits in our program throughout this year and throughout our last two years. Obviously it is a new school record with 18 home runs and it got us to the winners' bracket."

On playing Michigan on Friday:
"We have played them this year. While they are on the end of their long road trip, they are as hot as I have ever seen anyone coming into the World Series. We are going to have to pull out the video machine again and figure things out."

On first-inning, two-run homer:
"I was trying to do what I could with the pitch. I fouled a couple off before, and I just told myself to stay balanced and go with whatever she is going to throw at me next. I just had a good stride, I saw the pitch well. I swung at it and it went really far and I was happy."

On adjusting to the Arizona batters as the game went along:
"I think a big part of it was after the first three innings, just settling down. I was kind of wild in the beginning, maybe effectively wild, but just settling down, seeing their adjustments and making my own. Whether it was deep in the box or over the plate, just throwing my pitches."

On Arizona being one of the top offenses in the nation:
"There were a lot of nerves because I knew how great they were. Every single pitch was a battle with them and I knew how they could hit the ball."

On her home run and playing the late game:
"I don't think it had a big factor on the way we played. We just came out the way we normally do and started the way we normally do. With my home run, I was just trying to be aggressive and I got a good pitch. I played against her before so I knew a couple of spots she was going to pitch me. I just tried to swing as hard as I could."


Opening comment:
"Well it's a typical World Series. You have to execute. First of all, I tip my hat to Florida. This is the time of the year when you have to do things you need to. They had a solid pitching performance and some timely hits. This team, we just couldn't quite make the adjustments we needed to offensively, but I was really proud of Sarah (Akamine) coming in and giving us an opportunity. I really felt during the game that we were just a couple of base runners from getting something going. But this is what the College World Series is all about. You get games like this. Coming into this we knew that Florida is a good team. (Stacey) Nelson did a good job and I tip my hat to them. For Arizona, now we have to move forward. I think the big thing is that we're against a big wall right now and we have to crawl our way back in."

On playing Alabama on Saturday:
"They're a good team and well-coached and prepared. It's going to be the same thing. At this time of the year, it comes down to you have to execute on all phases of the game. You have to get solid pitching, play good defense and you have to get some timely hits. I think Alabama will be a good team that has done a very good job throughout the year. They're a team we respect and a team that we look forward to playing."

On if she knew this morning that she would be pitching or not:
"No I didn't know; we don't know until (close to) game time. Coach told me to be prepared at any time. He told all three of us to be warm and ready to go. Jennifer (Martinez) was ready to go, too. We just all got warm at the beginning of the game."

On Arizona not scoring in the first after she and K'Lee Arredondo singled with no outs:
"At the time, I thought we were going to get the big hit that inning but that didn't work out. Having that inning in the first inning gave me a lot of confidence because I was like, 'We're on her and we're going to stay on her for the whole game.' It really didn't work out that way, but at that time I had a lot of confidence in our offense and I thought we were going to put something together. But it didn't work out."

On Arizona's game against Alabama in the World Series last year:
"Honestly, I don't remember a whole lot. I guess our team is a lot different than we were last year. Last year we were kind of just happy to be here and this year we're looking to win it. I think we didn't do that well last year against them. I think we scored one run, so I don't think we should really look at the past because it didn't really help us that much."