Florida softball falls short of national title vs. ASU

Florida's Megan Bush, right, hugs teammate Aja Paculba after Florida lost a Women's College World Series championship series game 7-2 to Arizona State in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. It was Arizona's second victory in a best-of three series and they won the national title.(Photo by The Associated Press)

Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 10:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 12:19 a.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Florida's bid for a national title fell short when Arizona State's Dallas Escobedo became the first freshman pitcher to lead her team to a national title in 21 years.

The Sun Devils freshman held the powerful Gators to four hits as the Sun Devils won 7-2 Tuesday night to claim the championship at the Women's College World Series.

“Ultimately, it was the better team that won tonight,” Florida coach Tim Walton said.

The Gators (56-13) fell short for the second time in three years, losing to Washington in the 2009 championship.

ASU's Alix Johnson looped a single to right to drive in a pair and give the Sun Devils a 5-1 lead in the third inning.

Brittany Schutte's sacrifice fly in the first gave the Gators a 1-0 lead. The Sun Devils responded with three runs in the second, including Katelyn Boyd's two-run single to right.

Boyd ripped a single to right to drive in another run in the fifth, extending the Sun Devils' lead to 6-1.

Tiffany DeFelice singled for the Gators in the third. It wasn't until the seventh that Escobedo allowed another hit. Ensley Gammel singled and then scored when DeFelice roped a single over third base.

DeFelice went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Gammel was 1 for 3. Michelle Moultrie was 1 for 4.

Moultrie and Escobedo shared the co-Most Valuable Player award.

Florida starter Stephanie Brombacher went three innings, allowing five runs, six hits, two walks and striking out two.

“No one wants to end their career on a loss,” Brombacher said. “It's tough to swallow.

“This program's gonna do big things. I'm just proud to be a Gator.”

ASU right fielder Annie Lockwood took an extra-base hit away from Megan Bush in the fourth as she tracked down a deep fly to right at the wall.

Lockwood crushed a solo homer to left in the sixth to spot the Sun Devils a six-run lead.

Lockwood was 3 for 4. Boyd went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Johnson was 1 for 2 with three RBIs.

“Obviously losing here is heartbreaking,” Florida senior Kelsey Bruder said. “I think (these last four years) have been the best four years of my life.”

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