Gators, Sun Devils Similar Teams

Gator softball coach Tim Walton won't have to spend a ton of time studying video to get to know his opponent in this weekend's NCAA Super Regional. All he has to do is watch his team practice. Arizona State will bring a team to Gainesville that is very much like the Gator squad.

Arizona State is a strong offensive team with a nice balance of power and speed. Florida has more power. The Sun Devils have more speed. Both teams have solid, but not dominant pitching. Both play solid but not spectacular defense. Here's how they compare statistically:

Avg. .337 .326
Runs 410 385
HR 100 72
SB-SBA 75-95 61-67
W-L 46-8 44-15
ERA 1.97 3.04
HR allowed 18 53

Obviously, the biggest difference between these teams is that Arizona State pitchers are really prone to giving up the long ball while Florida's hurlers have been pretty stingy in that regard. That disparity holds when you compare the numbers of the number one pitcher for each team. Gator ace Stephanie Brombacher (32-6, 1.97) has allowed just 11 home runs in 199 innings in the circle. Arizona State's top pitcher, Hillary Bach (25-7, 2.28) has been taken deep 24 times in a similar number of innings (202 2/3).

Offensively, Arizona State has a number of excellent hitters, led by shortstop Katelyn Boyd (.414, 15, 48) who has the team triple crown, leading the Sun Devils in batting, HR and RBI. She also has 27 stolen bases and has only been thrown out twice. She leads off and is the key batter for Brombacher to control. Right behind Boyd in the lineup is centerfielder Lesley Rogers (.385, 22-22 SB) who has outstanding speed.

Arizona State has two other excellent hitters with significant power in Anne Lockwood (.341, 12, 45) and Caylyn Carlson (.351, 10, 40).

At one point this season the Sun Devils were 35-6, but they are just 9-9 over their last 18 games. Of course part of that is because they were playing the likes of California and Washington for five of those losses.


Florida is playing in the Super Regional for the fourth year in a row and this is the third straight year they've been at home against a Pac-10 team. Florida beat California two straight games each of the last two years to earn a trip to the College World Series. Arizona State was also in the CWS last year and this Super Regional is the only one that features two teams that were in the CWS a year ago.

Florida will try to put its superior power to work this weekend. Florida has seven hitters with eight or more HR led by Francesca Enea (20), Brittany Schutte (15), Megan Bush (14) and Kelsey Bruder (13).


The Gators also hope to get Enea's bat going. She is 0-for-14 in five post-season games, dropping her average from .361 to .327. Second baseman Aja Paculba (2-for-12) has also struggled in post-season play.

On the other hand, Bush (8-for-15, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI) is crushing the ball since the end of the regular season and Bruder (7-for-15, 2 HR) has been almost as good.


Florida is an incredible 179-18 (.909) over the last three seasons. Brombacher is 74-6 (.925) in that time.


Michelle Moultrie (.408) continues to flirt with the Gator single season batting average record. Ali Gardiner (.407) set the standard two seasons ago. Moultrie obviously has to continue to hit at better than a .400 clip the rest of the way to end the year with an average higher than Gardiner's.


Florida and Arizona State will play Saturday night at 7:30. The loser of that game will have to win twice on Sunday while the winner will be one win from the CWS.

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