UF softball dominates Day 2 of Lipton


Florida's Michelle Moultrie lays down a bunt against Tennessee State in the Lipton Invitational on Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 10:06 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 10:06 p.m.

Junior Kelsey Horton smashed three homers Saturday, including her first career grand slam, to contribute to Florida's six long balls on the day as the Gator softball team defeated Gardner-Webb, 14-0, and Tennessee State, 8-0, on the second day of the Lipton Invitational to improve to 18-1 on the season.

Horton accounted for eight RBIs, finishing 4 for 5 at the plate, good for a .800 batting clip after connecting for a three-run shot against Gardner-Webb and a grand slam and solo homer against Tennessee State in the second of Florida's two games. The grand slam marked UF's second of the year after sophomore Cheyenne Coyle tallied the first of her career against Illinois State on Feb. 11. Horton's two homers against the Tigers tied a UF individual single game record.

For the second consecutive day, the Gators put up 20-plus runs, scoring 22 on 23 hits, for a total of 47 in the Lipton Invitational so far.

Eight Gators connected for hits, including multiple-hit performances from five.

Sophomore Kasey Fagan was perfect on the day for the Gators, going 5 for 5 with four runs, a double and a homer, her first of the season.

Freshman Alyssa Bache and sophomore Hannah Rogers opened the afternoon by teaming up for a combined one-hitter against the GWU Bulldogs. Bache earned her third victory of the season with four strikeouts, allowing just one hit and one walk in the first 4.0 innings of play. Rogers came on for the final frame to retire the side, two by strikeout, to lead UF to its 17th victory of the year.

Freshman Lauren Haeger earned the nod in the circle against Tennessee State, improving to 6-1 on the season with a two-hit, complete game effort against the Tigers to give the Gators 18 wins. Haeger fanned four and walked two, while holding TSU scoreless through the five-inning tilt.

UF opened the second day of the Lipton Invitational with its second match-up against Gardner-Webb in as many days, piling on an 11-run cushion in the first inning alone, a 35-minute frame. Two three-run homers, one from senior Michelle Moultrie and one from Horton, assisted as UF put up 11 runs on eight hits in the first inning alone.

In the second game with Tennessee State, it was two homers, a passed ball and a final Sami Fagan RBI in the bottom of the fifth that sealed the deal for the Gators, as the team secured its 11th shutout and run-rule of the 2012 season.

A Horton grand slam, the first of her career and second for UF this season, gave the Gators four insurance runs to kick off the first-ever meeting between Florida and TSU.

Florida never looked back as Horton added her fifth RBI of the tilt with her second homer of the game against the Tigers, her third of the day, to take the Gators up, 6-0, after three innings.

The final day of the 2012 Lipton Invitational kicks off today at 9 a.m.

First pitch for the Gators' final contest of the match-up against Campbell is slated for 1:30 p.m.

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