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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 11 University of Oregon softball team (42-16) capped its season Saturday with a 7-0 loss to No. 3 University of Florida (52-10) in the second and deciding game of the Super Regional at Pressly Stadium.
Entering the game as the national leader in slugging and homers, the Gators banged out eight hits while All-SEC Freshman Team pitcher Hannah Rogers, pitched the complete game shutout to send the SEC East Division Champions to next week’s eight-team Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Making it second-ever Super Regional trip in as many years, the Ducks were held scoreless for only the fifth time this season, and first time since mid-April’s 5-0 and 2-0 losses vs. Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Jolene Henderson of Super Regional advancer at then-No. 13 California.
The Gators scored once in the second and third innings, then added two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth.
UF scored its first run in the third after Tiffany DeFelice reached on a walk, advanced to second on a single, then came around on an error by the second baseman.
In the third, the Gators scored again when after another walk to the inning’s second hitter, Brittany Schutte, All-SEC First Team choice Megan Bush followed with an RBI double to right center field.
In the fourth inning, a walk to the ninth hitter in the line-up, Gammel Easley, was followed by a bunt single by Michelle Moultrie and walk by Aja Paculba. SEC Player of the Year Kelsey Bruder followed with a two-run single to center, but was cut down trying to advance to second base.
UF’s final three runs in the sixth helped knock sophomore starter Jessica Moore (24-11) from the game.
Easley and Moultrie opened the inning with singles, although Easley was thrown out at third base trying to advance. After a walk to Bruder put two on, All-SEC First Team pick Brittany Schutte hit a three-run homer to center field – her 20th of the season and third of the weekend in seven at-bats.
At the plate for Oregon, four hitters hit safely once – freshmen Courtney Ceo (1-for-3) and Alexa Peterson (1-for-2) and sophomores Kaylan Howard (1-for-3) and Allie Burger (1-for-2).
The Ducks put their opening hitters on via singles in the first and fifth innings courtesy of freshmen Courtney Ceo and Alexa Peterson, but the next three hitters all made outs in each situation.
UO also put runners on in the third and fourth innings via a single by sophomore Allie Burger and walk by senior Kaitlin Vitek, but each were stranded.
At game’s end, the Ducks were set down 1-2-3 only once in the second inning. Three batters also hit in the sixth, but that was only after Gator centerfielder Michelle Moultrie raced in 40’ to make a lunging catch and doubled Howard off first base who had singled just prior.
In her 10th shutout of the season, Rogers struck out only three, walked one, and allowed four hits.
For UO, Moore pitched the first 5 2/3 innings, struck out four, walked six, gave up eight hits, and six of her seven runs allowed were earned.
The Pac-10 leader in relief appearances (22), senior Brittany Rumfelt came in to work the sixth and seventh innings. The Lakeport, Calif., native struck out three of the four batters she faced, and allowed no hits or walks in her final game as a Duck.
An All-Region First Team and All-Pac-10 Second-Team honoree, fellow senior Monique Fuiva also made her last appearance in a Duck uniform. All-time for Oregon, the Lynwood, Calif., capped her career ranked top-10 in doubles (third-tie, 38), homers (sixth, 27) and RBI (ninth, 103), and season-wise in RBI (ninth-tie, 44), and doubles (ninth-tie, 13).
Fellow senior outfielder Kaitlin Vitek also ended her Duck tenure with career bests in nearly every offensive category, including slugging (.595), homers (9), hitting (.297), hits (33), walks (17) and on-base percentage (.388).
The All-Pac-10 and All-Region First Team choice Moore finished the campaign with a host of impressive accomplishments herself. On the Oregon all-time season lists, she ranked second and third in strikeouts (222) and wins (third-t, 24), respectively, and ended only 16 strikeouts shy of her school record last year (238).
Career-wise after only two seasons, she sports notable top-10 rankings in strikeouts (third, 462), shutouts (seventh-t, 11), ERA (eighth, 1.88), wins (ninth, 40) and appearances (10th, 82).
During the season, the Sutter, Calif,. native beat eight top-20 teams; staked wins over six of Oregon’s seven Pac-10 opponents; and beat six other NCAA qualifiers.
The Ducks advanced to the Gainesville, Fla., Super Regional after last weekend’s wins over Albany (3-1), Fordham (2-0) and at Penn State (3-1) in the University Park Regional.
Winners of 12 of its last 15 games entering the Super Regional, UO wrapped the regular season with one of its greatest conference runs ever, and claimed its last four series against the ‘Conference of Champions’.
In that span, UO sported 2-1 marks against last year’s NCAA champion and then-No.12 UCLA, at last year’s NCAA runner-up and then-No. 9 Arizona and vs. then-No. 10 Stanford, and also swept rival Oregon State.
UO’s third-place tie in the Pac-10 stood as its second-best league record and finish ever behind its 13-7, runner-up placing in 1989 (also the year of UO’s first WCWS trip), and best since the Pac-10 expanded to eight teams in 1993.
Looking ahead, the Gators will join #1 seed Arizona State and #3 seed Alabama in the double-elimination WCWS which runs Thursday-Wednesday, June 2-8. The other five qualifiers will be determined in other Super Regionals wrapping up Saturday and Sunday around the country.
An updated NCAA bracket and more tourney information is available at the www.NCAAsports.com website.
#3 Florida 7, #11 OREGON 0 (May 28, 2011 at Gainesville, Fla.)
#3 Florida..... 011 203 0 - 7 8 0 (52-10)
#11 OREGON..... 000 000 0 - 0 4 3 (42-16)
Pitchers: Florida - Rogers and DeFelice. OREGON - Moore, Jessica; Rumfelt, Brittany(6) and Peterson, Alexa. Win-Rogers(33-6) Loss-Moore, Jessica(24-11) T-2:27 A-1559. HR UF - Schutte (20). Weather: 87 degrees, sunny
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