No. 3 Florida Blanks East Carolina 1-0
Feb. 21, 2010
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A first-inning single by Francesca Enea that drove in Aja Paculba was all No. 3 Florida needed to defeat East Carolina 1-0 in the final game of the Lipton Invitational. The Gators picked up just one hit and ECU two as the pitchers combined to strike out 11 batters. It was the third meeting between the teams this season, with Florida (9-1) winning each by one run.
Toni Paisley (2-4) suffered the loss for East Carolina (2-7) despite surrendering just one hit and fanning four. Following a walk to Corrie Brooks to start the bottom of the second inning, Paisley sent down the last 14 batters. Stephanie Brombacher (7-1) picked up the win for the Gators in her seven-strikeout effort.
After the Pirates went down in order in the top of the first, Paculba led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. She stole second base and went to third on a passed ball before scoring the game’s only run on a single to left by Enea.
Freshman Kai Clark started East Carolina’s half of the second with the team’s first hit, a single up the middle. She did not move past second base, however, as a line-out and two ground-outs followed.
Florida’s Brooks walked to lead off the bottom of the second and was the last Florida base runner. She was doubled off when Tiffany DeFelice popped out to senior Charina Sumner at second base on a hit-and-run. It was the Pirates’ sixth double play turned this season.
For the third-straight inning, ECU put its leadoff batter on in the top of the fourth and could not convert. Senior Marina Gusman-Brown walked and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Clark. With one out, senior Vanessa Moreno drew a free pass to put runners on first and second. The threat was ended by a strikeout looking and a pop-out.
The Pirates went down in order in the fifth before Clark picked up a two-out walk in the sixth and Moreno was hit by a pitch. Sophomore pinch hitter Suzanne Riggs struck out to close the inning.
Senior Cristen Aona began the seventh with a double to left field. UF center fielder Michelle Moultrie dove for the ball, but could not come up with the catch. A sacrifice bunt by senior pinch hitter Tiffany Shaw moved Aona to third and brought up another pinch hitter in freshman Cicely Lopez, who struck out swinging. Sumner came up with two outs and sent a low line drive to third base. Brooks bobbled the ball and threw to first. Sumner slid into the bag, but was called out on the play to end the game and seal the Florida victory.
East Carolina returns to action Friday with its first home game and the Pirate Clash. Towson and Morehead State begin the tournament at 11 a.m. before Morehead State faces Delaware at 1 p.m. ECU concludes Friday’s action with a 3 p.m. game against Delaware.