UF Softball Goes 4-1 on California Road Swing

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - In Florida softball's final game of the 2012 Cathedral City Classic Saturday, the Gators defeated Boise State, 3-0, at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Palm Springs to finish the weekend 4-1, including two victories over Top-25 opponents in Texas A&M and Texas.

Florida defeated No. 16/14 Texas A&M, BYU, No. 8 Texas and Boise State, falling by just three runs, 5-2, to No. 5 Washington. The Gators are 13-1 on the season and return home for a Thursday contest against Eastern Michigan before hosting their home tournament, the 2012 Lipton Invitational March 2-4 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Throughout UF's three-day stay in California, the Gators put up 19 runs on 28 hits, six homers, two doubles and a triple. Florida drew 13 walks and turned three double plays on the defensive side. Sophomore ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) picked up three wins in the circle for UF, while freshman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) tallied one win against BYU and the Washington, loss as classmate Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) earned her first career save against BYU. The trio collaborated for 34 strikeouts, led by Rogers' 20, while limiting opponents to a .223 batting clip.

With two shutouts against BYU and Boise State, Florida now has seven on the 2012 campaign to go along with seven run-rule victories and one extra-innings win against USF in Tampa.

Junior Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) got the Gators started against the Broncos with a two-RBI single through the right side after the Gators' leadoff hitters, freshman Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) and senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), did what they do best, both laying down bunt singles to get on base. Fagan and Moultrie both advanced to scoring position following an Aubray Zell wild pitch, enabling Schutte to bring both runs home for the 2-0 lead after just the first frame.

The Broncos connected for their first hit of the contest on a one-out Mackenzie Whyte double to the right center fence in the third, but Rogers fanned Allie Crump swinging and forced a Katie Englebrecht groundout after a two-out Tazz Weatherly base hit to hold Boise State scoreless.

After a scoreless fourth inning for both teams, junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) clocked a leadoff bomb over the left-center fence to add another run for the Orange and Blue in the fifth, for what would be the third and final run of the contest with the Broncos.

Rogers added her eighth win of the 2012 season with a five-hit shutout, fanning five with the complete-game effort, her sixth of the season.

Moultrie led the Orange and Blue at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance, while S. Fagan, Schutte and Horton all went 1-for-3 for the Gators.

Florida faced two pitchers for Boise State, first Zell who tallied the loss after tossing the first 5.0 and giving up four UF hits and all three Gator runs, while retiring five by strikeout, and then Lela Work, who worked the final 2.0. Work was efficient, limiting UF to just one hit through the final two frames.

Through UF's 14 games this season, S. Fagan leads the Orange and Blue at the plate with a .500 batting clip and 23 hits, while sophomore Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) has a team-leading five homers and 10 walks drawn. Schutte and Haeger each have 17 RBI for UF, while Schutte and S. Fagan have .563 and .549 on-base percentages thus far.

UF will return to the Sunshine State for its match-up with Eastern Michigan March 1 at 6 p.m., before hosting Campbell, Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb and Eastern Michigan in its annual Lipton Invitational. Gator fans can check out the full slate of the Gators' tournament by visiting www.GatorZone.com/softball and clicking on the schedule page for dates, times and statistics following.

All of UF's games in the coming week will be carried live and locally on the radio and online with 104.9, 105 The Game, with play-by-play action from Mike Gillespie and Adam Schick, along with color analysis by former Gator All-American Megan Bush.

Following Florida's Lipton Invitational, the Gators will open 2012 Southeastern Conference play with a five-game road swing to kick off league play at Mississippi State with a Wed., March 7 doubleheader, before traveling directly to Eastern Division rival Tennessee for a three-game weekend series, spanning March 9-11.

For all the latest on Gator softball, follow Florida on Twitter @GatorZoneSBall and on Facebook - University of Florida Softball.

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