May 21, 2010

*Courtesy of the University of Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Fourth-seed University of Florida softball defeated Bethune-Cookman, 6-0, in their first game of the 2010 NCAA Tournament at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Friday night.  Junior Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) tied a season high with 11 strikeouts as she tallied her 30th win of the season.

Offensively, junior Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) led the way for the Gators (44-8) with three RBIs, while classmate Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with her 12th home run of the season, UF's 97th. Brombacher (30-6) pitched a complete-game shutout, her ninth of the season, allowed only three hits and did not walk a batter for the fourth time in 2010.

Allison Garcia (25-15) shouldered the loss for the Wildcats (32-23), allowing eight hits, all six runs and two walks, while striking out three.

The Gators struck first in the second with a two-out solo shot by Bruder to give UF a 1-0 lead. After DeFelice drew a walk, the game was halted due to weather. After a two-hour-and-25-minute rain delay, play was resumed, but Garcia got senior Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) swinging to end Gators' scoring threat.

After mowing down the first eight batters she faced, including six by way of the K, Brombacher gave up her first hit of the game to Tameika Jonas, as the first baseman hit one just fair in shallow left field. The righty finished the inning with a swinging K, allowing just the one baserunner.

Florida added a run in the fourth as freshman Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and junior Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Bruder grounded out to first, advancing both runners into scoring position and DeFelice plated Schutte with a ground out to short.

The Wildcats threatened in the fifth as Joanna Hernandez knocked a spinner back to Brombacher, reaching first safely with one out. After forcing a pop up for the second out, Jonas reached when Brombacher made a throwing error, allowing Hernandez to hustle to third. The righty erased her mistake with her 10th K of the night as she got Ashton Hinds looking, leaving two stranded.

The Gators increased their lead to 6-0 with four runs on five hits. With one down, Schutte doubled to left and Bush followed with a single through the left side. Sophomore Lauren Heil (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came in to pinch run and Bruder tapped a roller down the third-base line to load the bases for DeFelice. The catcher smacked a single to left center to score Schutte and Heil. Bruder and DeFelice executed a double steal to move into scoring position for freshman pinch hitter Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.), who belted a bases-clearing double through the left side to give Florida a 6-0 lead. Brombacher ended the game with a strikeout, sealing the UF win.

Florida will take on UCF, who won the first game of the day, 7-1, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 22. FIU and Bethune-Cookman will battle at 3:30 p.m. All games will be streamed through and Florida's game will be broadcast on WYGC-FM 105 The Game.