UF players take ump to task

Florida head coach Tim Walton, left, argues with home plate umpire Chris Drumm, center, about whether or not Florida's Tiffany DeFelice, right, was hit by a pitch during the first inning of a Women's College World Series championship series game against Arizona State in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY — A couple of positives that the Florida softball team can take away from Monday's 14-4 loss to top-seeded Arizona State in the Women's College World Series: The Gators are still in the best-of-three championship series, and they don't have to deal with umpire Chris Drumm behind the plate.


Championship Series

At ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City
All Times EDT
x-if necessary
All games on ESPN2, 104.9-FM
Today: Arizona State 14, Florida 4.
Tuesday: Arizona State (59-6) vs. Florida (56-12), 8 p.m.
x-Wednesday: Arizona State vs. Florida, 8 p.m.

The Florida players lashed out after the game at Drumm, who was the home plate umpire Monday. The players refused to blame the loss on Drumm, but accused her of inconsistent balls and strikes and a blown call that likely cost them a run in the first inning.

“I'm looking forward to playing ASU without her behind the plate,” Kelsey Bruder said. “I'm going to try to be as nice as possible, but I hope that whoever appoints her reevaluates her abilities.

“I'm not making any excuses. ASU absolutely kicked our butts and they deserved to win today, but it was really hard adjusting to the inconsistent calls.”

Arizona State caught a break right off the bat when Drumm called Tiffany DeFelice back to the box although she was clearly hit on the forearm by a pitch in the first inning. Instead of having runners on first and second with nobody out, DeFelice flied out to right field and the Gators ended up stranding Michelle Moultrie on third.

“It didn't hit the bat at all. I don't know if bone sounds like bat, but it hit me square in the arm,” DeFelice said. “It swelled up like a snowball. I had to have my trainer wrap it up. I mean, it was a rough night with that umpire and it was rough night first time we had her too.”

Drumm was also behind the plate when Arizona State beat Florida 6-5 last Friday night.

“I don't think I have to defend her. I think she called the game as she saw it,” NCAA director of championships Sharon Cessna said. “Because it may not have met the expectations or if they felt like they had an issue with her in a previous game and they came in with preconceived notions, that can happen both ways as well.

“I'm not necessarily going to defend her because I think she called the game as she saw it, and that's what we ask them to do. She's one of the six best umpires that we have, because we bring our best here.”

Instead of playing with a lead, Florida quickly fell behind.

Florida also got blown out in its first appearance in the finals two years ago, losing Game 1 to Washington 8-0. The Gators were swept in that series, losing 3-2 in Game 2.

Bruder proclaimed after the impressive sweep of Alabama that the Gators were out to represent the SEC, which has never won an NCAA softball title, and stop the dominance of the Pac-10 — which won 22 of the 28 championships.

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