Game 4: Florida 6, Missouri 2
- Florida improved to 8-6 all-time in the Women’s College World Series with its 6-2 win over Missouri.
- Florida is 6-1 in this year’s NCAA tournament and improved to 38-24 all-time in NCAA postseason action.
- With her two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, Megan Bush now holds the Florida record for single-season homers at 21. She entered the game tied for first with both Francesca Enea (2010) and Brittany Schutte (2010) at 20. Bush also owns the Southeastern Conference record for career homers at 65.
- Florida’s Kelsey Bruder hit an RBI single in the first inning before scoring herself to give Florida a 2-0 lead. The run was Bruder’s 70th of the season, good for sole possession of first place on Florida’s single-season list. Bruder, who entered the game tied with Aja Paculba (2009) with 69 runs scored, added another run in the third inning.
- Florida junior Michelle Moultrie went 2-for-3 at the plate tonight, giving her a school-record 90 hits in a season. Moultrie entered the game tied with Ali Gardiner (2008) and Kim Waleszonia (2007) at 88.
- One of Moultrie’s two hits was a home run in the bottom of the third to give the Gators a 3-0 lead. The homer was just her third of the season and ninth of her career.
- Florida has scored five runs or more in 49 of its 62 contests this season. It improved to 46-3 when scoring at least five runs.
- Florida sophomore Ensley Gammel’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning was her first RBI since she recorded a career-high five on March 12 against Ball State. Gammel has 10 RBIs this season and 13 in her career.
- Mizzou’s Lisa Simmons hit a two-run double in the top of the sixth, marking her eighth multiple-RBI game of the season. Simmons has 23 RBIs this year and 32 in her career.
- Mizzou moved to 1-11 all-time in the WCWS (sixth appearance) and to 0-5 under head coach Ehren Earleywine (appearances in each of the last three years). The Tigers are 36-31 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
- In contrast to the first four games of the 2010 WCWS which yielded a tournament-record 42 runs, today’s four contests produced 14 among the eight participating teams.
- Tonight’s attendance of 8,152 set a WCWS Session 2 record. It marked the seventh largest single-session crowd in event history. This afternoon’s attendance of 7,280 was a Session 1 record.
FLORIDA HEAD COACH TIM WALTON
“I’m really proud of the way we came out and swung the bat. Stephanie (Brombacher) really set the tempo for us by giving us a chance to hit with the lead and we got after it right away in the first inning. I thought we had great at-bats all the way throughout the game. (Chelsea Thomas is) one of the best pitchers in the country and I thought we did a really good job of handling all the pitches. She’s was throwing really hard tonight and had a good change-up working. I think Michelle (Moultrie) set the tempo with a two-strike change-up hit in the first inning. I thought we did a good job and were prepared. We watched enough video to get ourselves ready to go and I thought we came out and executed a great game plan. Both pitchers threw well and our defense really shined tonight and I thought we made some nice plays. And here we are in the next game playing Arizona State. But give Missouri credit. I thought they came out, they fought. They had a lot of opportunities to score. In this arena you have to score early to kind of loosen things up. But I’m really proud of the way our team played and really proud of the energy and really the calmness they shared all week long. They really looked like they were determined and confident and had a good chance to win this ball game tonight.”
FLORIDA SENIOR FIRST BASEMAN MEGAN BUSH
On the fact that it seemed like she knew what pitch was coming on her home run:
“I know for me, I didn’t know where she was pitching it. She’s a great pitcher and she mixes it up really well. I was just lucky to get a pitch that I could really drive hard. I don’t think I’ve had a ball like that before. It was really fun to get that feeling back because I’ve been missing it a little bit.”
On her timing at the plate:
“Well for me, my hitting is completely based around my timing. So I think that really not starting too early or too late is just the biggest key for me. I think that we had a really good game plan going in. Whether I take big hacks and miss – and that goes for everybody — it’s only one pitch and one at-bat. So we really kept that in mind with our game plan today that one swing or one at-bat, we weren’t going to live or die on that one.”
FLORIDA JUNIOR CENTER FIELDER MICHELLE MOULTRIE:
On the fact that it seemed like she knew what pitch was coming on her home run:
“She’s a great pitcher, obviously, and I didn’t know that was coming. I just tried to stay on it and it went far, so I was pretty happy about that.”
FLORIDA SENIOR LEFT FIELDER KELSEY BRUDER
On if maybe Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas hadn’t seen an offense like Florida’s:
“Yeah, I do think that she might not have been exactly prepared for the type of power that our offense has. I do think we’re some of the best hitters in the country and I think to this game she hadn’t given up more than three runs. And that speaks for her pitching. She’s a tremendous pitcher. I don’t think I’ve seen an array of pitches like that in a long time. I’m sure she’ll keep battling through the tournament, as will we.”
MISSOURI HEAD COACH EHREN EARLEYWINE
“I don’t have a whole lot to say. I just feel really bad for the girls, sad for the program. We’ve tried so hard to win here and haven’t been able to do that yet. I know how disappointed I am so I know they have to be even doubly so themselves; just really hurtful.”
On this loss being more difficult than the previous four at the WCWS the last two years:
“Yeah, I just feel like the frustrating part is that we’re good enough physically to do better than what we’ve done and that’s the saddest part for me. We don’t know how to get over that hump. These players are very talented physically and they’ve proven that for the last three years. But for whatever reason when we get to the College World Series they don’t allow themselves to play the way they are capable of playing. We had some really good opportunities with runners in scoring position and the right people up, and just looked like we were from a different planet; almost unrecognizable.”
On what tricks he plays with his team before Saturday to help turn things around:
“If I knew that I would have played them tonight. Again, I’m thinking ‘Do we need to go practice tomorrow?’ I’m thinking, ‘No, because it’s not physical.’ And, what do you do? How do you get kids to play like they normally play? How do you get them to stay relaxed? As a coaching staff, we acknowledge that that’s the issue we’ve been facing. And so we’ve done everything we can to stay loose ourselves; less intensity and trying to minimize the situation. So I don’t know what to do.”
On if this is one of the few times in his career he feels he’s at a loss:
“Absolutely. I don’t know what to do. Even if it’s wrong, I usually have a plan. I don’t have one.”
MISSOURI SOPHOMORE PITCHER CHELSEA THOMAS
On her first-inning thoughts:
“I was ready the first inning. They jumped on every one of the change-ups I threw. Those were the only hits they got were all my change-ups in the very first inning. That is usually my strike out pitch or the pitch to get ahead. For them to come out and sit on my change-up was unexpected, I think. I didn’t think that after the first inning that things would have gone the way they did.”
On her third-inning thoughts:
“They are a good hitting team. If you look at their stats, they’ve all got a really high home run count. The pitches that they hit were fairly decent pitches. Sometimes you have those days, I guess.”
On nerves prior to the game:
“I feel like we were all comfortable coming into the game. They had a couple hits in the very beginning and we had an error; just some things we aren’t usually faced with. We don’t make those types of errors. It was abnormal for our team to play like that.”