Game 11: Florida 16, Alabama 2 (5 Innings)
- No. 4 seed Florida (55-11) run-ruled No. 2 seed Alabama (53-10) by a 16-2 count. The teams will play again tonight at 6 p.m. CT for a berth in the championship series.
- The Gators have won three of four against Alabama this year and now trail the all-time series 26-22.
- Florida’s 16 runs tied a WCWS record. UCLA also scored 16 last year against Florida in Game 2 (16-3 in 6 innings). The Gators’ run total today was its fifth highest of the season.
- Florida’s four home runs tied the WCWS single-game record (UCLA hit four against Arizona in 2010).
- Florida’s 11 runs in the bottom of the first set a WCWS record for runs in an inning. The previous record of nine was held by UCLA and accomplished two times. Most recently, UCLA scored nine runs in the sixth inning of last year’s 16-3 Game 2 win over Florida.
- Florida’s 16 runs represented the most ever surrendered by Alabama. The most the Crimson Tide had given up entering the day was 13 on three different occasions (most recently in 2002 against Arizona in a shutout). The 14-run margin tied a WCWS record (Alabama beat Arizona 14-0 in 2009 in five innings) and represented the worst loss in Alabama history.
- Florida sent 14 batters to the plate in the first inning. It scored its 11 runs on just five hits, one of them a grand slam by Brittany Schutte in her second at-bat. It was her second career grand slam.
- Alabama senior pitcher Kelsi Dunne entered the game allowing just six base runners (five hits and one walk) in 12.0 innings of work in Alabama’s first two WCWS games this week. Six Florida hitters reached base against Dunne in the first inning today, including each of the first four, as the Gators chased the starter with only one out.
- The Crimson Tide entered the game riding a streak of 30 innings without giving up a run. Alabama had not surrendered a run since the third inning of its Game 1 Super Regional loss to Stanford.
- Entering today, Alabama had outscored its opponents 88-13 in the first inning this year. Florida became just the fourth team of the season to post multiple runs in the first inning against Alabama. The most runs the Crimson Tide had given up in the opening frame this year was three to UT-San Antonio on Feb. 18.
- Florida senior pitcher Stephanie Brombacher improved to 20-2 on the year after giving up two runs on three hits without a walk in 5.0 innings. She threw 78 pitches and had seven strikeouts.
- Dunne took the loss, just her fifth of the year against 29 wins. She gave up six runs (all earned) on two hits and three walks while also hitting a batter. Freshman Jackie Traina pitched 1.2 innings in relief of Dunne and gave up seven runs (all earned) on four hits and three walks. Lauren Sewell also threw 2.0 innings and gave up three runs (all earned) on two hits and a pair of walks.
- Prior to today, the most runs Alabama had allowed in an inning this year was four (against Western Michigan on Feb. 26 and Syracuse on Feb. 20).
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- Florida’s 11 first-inning runs were also more than nine of the first 10 games of this year’s WCWS (Arizona State and Florida combined for 11 total runs in the Sun Devils’ 6-5 Game 6 win).
- Florida junior Michelle Moultrie’s leadoff home run was her third roundtripper in four games at this year’s WCWS and just her fifth of the season. Moultrie finished the game 2-for-3 and has a WCWS-high nine hits in 14 at-bats (.643) third-best .643 (9-for-14).
- Florida sophomore Ensley Gammel hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give Florida a 13-1 lead. The home run was just the second of Gammel’s career.
- Florida has scored 32 runs in its four WCWS games for an 8.0 average. The next highest average in this year’s event is 4.5 by Arizona State (two games).
- Alabama’s two runs came on solo homers by junior Jazlyn Lunceford (sixth of year) and senior Whitney Larson (14th).
- Each of this year’s 11 WCWS games have been won by the designated home team.
FLORIDA HEAD COACH TIM WALTON
“I thought obviously we came out ready to play. Stephanie (Brombacher) did a great job giving us a chance to hit with an even score. Obviously got it going right away. Just proud of the way we came out, proud of the way we took the field and really played loose. Thought we were loose and comfortable and ready to play after pitch one.”
On Florida’s 11-run first inning:
“Well I think you have to give credit to Alabama. They obviously have a really good pitching staff and for us to be able to put up that many runs is amazing. I think it’s five first-team All Americans we’ve seen four days in a row. That’s unbelievable. That pitching has really helped us to see what we saw today. Every day leading up to this I thought we’ve had a good plan, our hitters have good approach. I think the most important thing is we’re really balanced at the plate right now.”
On Michelle Moultrie’s play in the postseason:
“You can’t say enough about Michelle Moultrie and what she means to our program. We kind of have a motto that we started at the end of her freshman year: ‘We have Michelle Moultrie and nobody else does.’ Her teammates love her to death. She’s a great player, great person. So for her to come out here and shine is really awesome.”
On how confident he is knowing he’s got Stephanie Brombacher and a fresh Hannah Rogers for the rematch:
“It’s kind of hard to sit up here right now after we won one game and we know what kind of game we got to play here in the next game to take a big step. I’m confident in Hannah but I’m equally confident in Stephanie. Who’s to stay I’m not going to go out and start her the next game, too. She gave up a couple home runs but she struck out seven and had good stuff. We hit first in this next game and hopefully we can set the tone, and if not we just have to have our pitchers keep it close the way we’re swinging the bat. Thirty-two runs in the games we’ve played so far is impressive, especially when you look at the pitchers and the ERA’s we’re doing it against. It says a lot.”
FLORIDA SOPHOMORE RIGHT FIELDER BRITTANY SCHUTTE
On pitchers walking Kelsey Bruder ahead of her in the lineup:
“I try not to worry about the fact that they walk her. I just go up there and stay mentally tough and look for my pitch to drive.”
On thoughts after the first inning:
“We just wanted to come out strong and get on top. We did that and it was a great feeling to be able to come out and score 11 runs right away.”
HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
“Well that’s a tough road to come back after you give up 11 in the first inning, so not much else I can say about it. Just an unfortunate game by us and a good game by them.”
On if he was surprised giving up 11 runs in the first inning after his team had pitched so well of late:
“Yeah, definitely. Eight walks, a hit by pitch, eight hits. It came out of nowhere.”
On how tough mentally it will be to bounce back against Florida at 6 p.m.:
“If any team can do it, this team can do it because they’ve been through so much, not only this year but the last four years. They’re a resilient group and hopefully they can show that off again tonight because they’re going to need to. I told them they had 15 minutes to pout, swear, yell, scream, cry; whatever they wanted to do on the way back to the hotel, and then once they get to the hotel that’s over and move on and start getting ready for the next game.”
ALABAMA SENIOR SHORTSTOP WHITNEY LARSEN
On Alabama’s pitchers rebounding and being fearless in tonight’s rematch:
“I think they’ve pitched well all season, and the first series that we had with Florida I thought they pitched great. It’s tough playing against an opponent that you’ve seen their hitters for four straight years and they’ve seen Kelsi (Dunne) for four straight years. So they’re just going to have to come out and be fearless and play tough. Everybody’s talking about how difficult it’s going to be, but at the same time, like Coach Murphy said, we’re a very resilient team. And I feel that we’re very mature in a sense that when we go to the hotel we’re not going to sit there and be like, ‘Oh my gosh we just lost 16-2, what are we going to do?’ It’s not going to be like that. We move on really quickly and we’ve been through the ringer and back. We’re going to come out with a fight.”
On if Alabama’s hitters went into a home-run mode after falling behind by 11:
“Well we were down 11 runs and the mentality that you have when you get into the box then is to take your hacks. At that point you’re not going to play small ball and you want to see as much pitching as you can and you want to have good at-bats. So it wasn’t a sense of, ‘Oh let’s try to hit home runs, let’s try to match them.’ It wasn’t that. It was just take your cuts, don’t get cheated in an at-bat right now when we’re trying to push runs across.”
On if Alabama bailed out mentally after the first inning:
“I wasn’t checked out mentally. None of us were checked out mentally. There’s no sense in pouting. I mean what’s that going to do for you? We were still having a good time; as much fun as you can when you’re losing 16-2. But there’s no sense in being a Debbie-downer or sitting in the dugout crying. You just try to have fun and play softball still.”