Late homer lifts Gator softball over UCF

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 7:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 7:53 a.m.

ORLANDO — Powered by two freshmen, the No. 6 Florida softball team defeated UCF, 4-3, in nine innings in front of a record crowd of 1,091 at the UCF Softball Complex on Wednesday.

Freshman Brittany Schutte hit a game-winning solo home run in the top of the ninth while classmate Ensley Gammel pitched four innings of scoreless relief, allowing only one hit to tally the win.

Gammel (5-0) struck out six and walked three after coming in in the sixth inning. The Gators (24-4, 6-2 SEC) tallied 15 hits while handing the Knights (22-13, 7-1 C-USA) their first extra-inning loss of the season (5-1). Ashleigh Cole (14-7) shouldered the loss for the Knights, tying a career high with nine strikeouts in her complete-game effort.

Schutte and sophomore Michelle Moultrie led the way for the Gators, going 3-for-5 on the night. Senior Corrie Brooks was 2-for-5 with her third home run in the last two games.

Starting pitcher, junior Stephanie Brombacher went five innings, allowed three runs, nine hits and no walks while striking out five.

Brombacher retired the first seven batters she faced before giving up UCF’s first hit of the night to Vanessa Perez in the third, which was a slow roller to short. With two down, Abby McClain hit a hard shot up the middle, but Brombacher forced former Lafayette High standout Natalie Land to hit one back at the pitcher to end the inning.

After four-and-a-half scoreless innings, the Knights were the first to strike, tallying a run in the fifth. After Brombacher struck out her counterpart, Cole, swinging, Vanessa Perez hit a chopper to junior shortstop Megan Bush, which took a bad hop allowing Perez to reach safely. Morgan Bullard followed with a single to right. With two down, Natalie Land singled to center to score Perez and give UCF a 1-0 lead before Brombacher got the final batter to fly out.

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