Ring and record

Days don’t get any better than this. Just ask Francesca Enea, Florida’s senior All-American outfielder.

You hit a record-setting home run while playing your last home game in front of your family and friends.

Oh, yeah, and you get engaged.

You can be sure that Enea won’t forget Sunday, May 9, 2010 anytime soon and certainly not later. With family and friends watching, the 5-8 right-handed left fielder from Woodland Hills, Calif., hit her record-extending 20th home run of the season in Florida’s 9-0 victory over South Carolina on Senior Day at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

“It was an inside pitch,” Enea said. “This year I’ve been really struggling on inside pitches, I don’t know why. I’m a pull hitter, I’ve just been off it this past season. It feels good to know that I can hit it every once in a while. I just put good timing and good rhythm on it. It was a line drive, so I wasn’t sure if it was going to hit the fence or go over it.”

Seems fitting that the town that also was the last home of baseball’s unlikely home-run hero Roger Maris, who hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Babe Ruth’s single-season record, is the collegiate home of the Southeastern Conference’s all-time leading home-run hitter, Enea, who now has the career mark with 61.

“it makes me happy, I feel good about my career,” Enea said. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to be at the collegiate level.”

Prior to the game, coach Tim Walton and the Gators (42-7, 20-4 SEC) honored Enea and fellow senior third baseman Corrie Brooks of Christmas.

“Those are big moments, some good memories for them,” Walton said. “I’m happy for them, Francesca deserves all of the accolades. There’s not a kid who works harder and cares more about the game and about the school, so I’m very pleased for her.”

“They both have played through injuries, played through pain and changed positions. The both brought a good mentality and work ethic, both were champions coming into our program and will leave as champions, with tremendous character. We’ll miss their leadership qualities day in and day out, on and off of the field.”

The two seniors helped to lead Florida to back-to-back SEC championships. Unfortunately, the Gators couldn’t make it three in a row because Alabama (45-9, 23-4 SEC) won its 21st straight game Sunday, 6-1, at Mississippi State to capture the championship by percentage points (.852-.833) over the Gators. Overall in their four seasons together, Florida was 224-39 (.852).

“My past four years have been a great experience for me,” Brooks said. “Today was the last regular-season home game, to spend it with Francesca — the only other senior —who I’ve been close with, was really good. To hear the accomplishments that we’ve made and everything that we’ve done for the program was a really great feeling.”

Then Enea’s long-time boyfriend, Florida alumnus Christian Bruey, the media director and radio voice of the Florida State League’s Daytona Cubs, surprised her by asking for her hand in marriage. Bruey got down on one knee when he made the proposal and slipped the ring on her finger as a crowd of 1,186 cheered. Bruey then took the ring back – temporarily – so the game could begin.

“I had a dream two years ago,” Enea said. “I told him ‘I had a dream you proposed to me on Senior Day,’ and he said ‘well that will never happen because I’ll never make enough money for the ring you want,’ and I said ‘yeah, you’re probably right.’

Several people at the game knew of the planned proposal, but Enea wasn’t expecting anything because of some misdirection by Bruey.

“He said he wasn’t going to be able to make it today and I was giving him (grief) about it for weeks and saying he was going to be in the doghouse if he didn’t come on time,” Enea said. “All of a sudden someone shouted his name out from the crowd, I looked and saw him. He didn’t waste any time, he went right down on one knee. I was just shocked. Everything with mother’s day, my family being here, Senior Day, my engagement, it’s just amazing, I’m happy.”

Walton said that Enea’s record-breaking home run could remove what could have become a distraction.

“I was probably more happy about the home run than I was about the engagement because it’s such a tough thing to do and I know its been weighing on her a little bit,” Walton said. “To come in here and hit a home run on

Wednesday, hit a home run on Saturday and hit a home run on Sunday, she meant business and she got after it.”

Junior right-hander Stephanie Brombacher (28-5) earned the victory with her first complete-game one-hitter of the season. South Carolina’s Evan Childs had a two-out single in the fourth inning to ruin the no-hitter and the Gamecocks also reached on three walks It was the sixth one-hitter of her career and among her three strikeouts was the 500th of her career.

“I’m excited that I’m in this groove, but I know that I still need to get better,” Brombacher said.

Brooks is eighth in the Florida record books with 24 career home runs and fifth in fielding assists with 341, a fact not overlooked by Brombacher.

“Corrie Brooks is awesome,” Brombacher said. “I played with her before I even got here. She’s such a great friend. At third base, she’s awesome. If the ball gets hit to her, it’s almost always a sure catch and a sure out. I really can’t ask for a better third baseman. I’ve given up some hot shot down the line and she’s been there way too many times to save me.”

April Borchardt shouldered the loss for the Gamecocks, allowing six hits, five earned runs, three walks and struck out one in 2.1 innings of work.

Florida took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Junior Aja Paculba led off with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. With two outs, freshman Brittany Schutte singled to put runners on first and third. Junior Megan Bush singled to right, scoring Paculba and sending Schutte to third base. Florida then executed a double steal, with Schutte scoring before Bush was tagged out.

Paculba knocked in Bruder, who had led off the second inning with a single, with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

In the third inning with one out, Enea hit a laser shot over the left-field fence for her 20th home run of the season and the 61st of her career. Schutt followed with a single to right and scored on Bush’s double to make it 5-0.

The Gators added two more runs in the fourth when Michelle Moultrie doubled home pinch-runner Lauren Heil and Paculba, who had singled, to make it 7-0.

Then in the fifth, Kelsey Bruder doubled down the left-field line. With two outs, freshman Kelsey Horton hit a bomb off the right side of the scoreboard to end the game.

Brombacher raved about the Gators’ offense as the team heads into the postseason.

“In our lineup, anyone can jack one over the fence,” Brombacher said. “Kelsey Horton, she doesn’t get very many at bats but she’s proven she can hit the longball. It’s awesome, I love my offense. In the beginning of the year we kind of struggled a little bit with team chemistry and I didn’t perform up to what I know I can do, but I really think were on a good page going into the SEC Tournament.”

Next up for the Gators is the SEC Tournament hosted by Arkansas at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. Florida is seeded second behind Alabama and opens play Thursday against seventh-seed Auburn at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Walton is pleased at the Gators’ offensive surge late in the season.

“We’re swinging the bats as well as we have ever swung the bat probably in five years, from everybody, not just one person,” Walton said. “I think it balances really well. Not to take anything away from it, but it’s called an average because you balance out the tough games and factor in the games where you get hits. I was really pleased at the way we showed some good at bats in the last few games.

“Realistically, I think we’ve overachieved in a few areas. Any team thats going to be a good team has to do some overachieving and I think this team has done that.”

If they win Thursday, the Gators will play the winner of LSU-Kentucky in Friday’s first semifinal at 3 p.m.

Alabama, meanwhile, opens against Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and that winner gets the winner of Georgia-Tennessee in the second semifinal Friday at 5:30 p.m.

The championship game will be played Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ESPNU has coverage of the first two days of the tournament, and the championship game will be on ESPN.



Eastern Division Conference Overall

(Rank) Team W-L Pct. W-L Pct.

(5T) Florida 20-4 .833 42-7 .857

(9) Georgia 18-8 .692 42-10 .808

(18) Tennessee 17-8 .680 41-12 .774

Kentucky 13-15 .464 31-24 .564

South Carolina 1-27 .036 11-40 .216

Western Division Conference Overall

(Rank) Team W-L Pct. W-L Pct.

(3T) Alabama 23-4 .852 45-9 .833

(14) Louisiana State 20-8 .714 42-13 .764

Auburn 11-17 .393 30-23 .566

Arkansas 10-18.357 28-28 .500

Mississippi 8-19 .296 27-27 .500

Mississippi State 7-20 .259 26-29 .473

(Rank) in this week’s GatorCountry.com Top 25 poll


SUNDAY / May 9

Florida 9, South Carolina 0 (5)

Alabama 6 Mississippi State 1

Tennessee 6, Louisiana State 1

Auburn 2, Arkansas 1

Mississippi 5, Kentucky 3

Georgia 9, Texas 0


Florida 20-6, South Carolina 0-1

Tennessee 6-0, Louisiana State 5-3

Kentucky 2-4, Mississippi 0-2

Auburn 4-3, Arkansas 3-2

Alabama 10-8, Mississippi State 1-2


MONDAY / May 10

Georgia at Texas, 7 p.m.

SEC TOURNAMENT / Fayetteville, Ark. / Bogle Park

Seeds: 1. Alabama (45-9); 2. Florida (42-7); 3. Louisiana State (42-13); 4. Georgia (42-10); 4. Tennesse (41-12); 6. Kentucky (31-24); 7. Auburn (30-23); 8. Arkansas (28-28)

THURSDAY / May 13 quarterfinals

Game 1: (3) Louisiana State vs. (6) Kentucky, 12 p.m. (ESPNU)

Game 2: (2) Florida vs. (7) Auburn, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Game 3: (4) Georgia vs. (5) Tennessee, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)

Game 4: (1) Alabama vs. (8) Arkansas, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

FRIDAY / May 14 semifinals

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

SATURDAY / May 15 championship

Game 7: Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)


NCAA Regionals (16 sites)


NCAA Super Regionals (8 sites)


Women’s College World Series, Oklahoma City, Okla.


May 4, 2010


The GatorCountry.com Top 25 college softball teams for May 4, a cumulative ranking using the ESPN.com/USA Softball Division I and USA/NFCA Division I polls. First-place votes are in parentheses:

Rk School W-L Pts Prv

1. Washington (2) (40-5) 50 1

2. Michigan (40-6) 48 2

3T. Arizona (40-8) 45 3

3T. Alabama (42-9) 45 4

5T. Florida (37-7) 41 5T

5T. UCLA (36-9) 41 5T

7T. Arizona State (39-11) 37 7T

7T. Georgia Tech (46-9) 37 7T

9. Georgia (41-10) 32 7T

10. Oklahoma (39-10) 31 10T

11. Missouri (41-9) 29 12

12. Oklahoma State (43-11) 28 10T

13. Texas (40-10) 26 13

14. Louisiana State (43-11) 25 16

15. California (36-15) 24 15

16. Stanford (32-14) 21 14

17. Illinois (37-5) 18 18

18. Tennessee (39-11) 16 17

19T. Oregon (31-13) 11 19

19T. Ohio State (33-12) 11 20T

19T. Texas A&M (39-13) 11 20T

22T. Hawaii (41-12) 8 20T

22T. Massachusetts (33-7-1) 8 23

24. Florida State (41-15) 4 24

25. Notre Dame (41-9) 3 25


1. Washington (40-5); 2. Michigan (40-6); 3. Arizona (40-8); 4. Alabama (42-9); 5. UCLA (36-9); 6. Florida (37-7); 7. Arizona State (39-11); 8. Georgia Tech (46-9); 9. Missouri (41-9); 10. Georgia (41-10); 11. Oklahoma State (43-11); 12. Oklahoma (39-10); 13. California (36-15); 14. Texas (40-10); 15. Stanford (32-14); 16. Louisiana State (41-11); 17. Illinois (37-5); 18. Tennessee (39-11); 19. Ohio State (33-12); 20. Massachusetts (32-7-1); 21. Texas A&M (39-13); 22. Oregon (31-13); 23. Hawaii (41-12); 24. Notre Dame (41-9); 25. Florida State (21-15).


1. Washington (40-5); 2. Michigan (40-6); 3. Alabama (42-9); 4. Arizona (40-8); 5. Florida (37-7); 6. UCLA (36-9); 7. Georgia Tech (46-9); 8. Arizona State (39-11); 9. Oklahoma (39-10); 10. Georgia (41-10); 11. Louisiana State (41-11); 12. Texas (40-10); 13. Oklahoma State (43-11); 14. Missouri (41-9); 15. California (36-15); 16. Stanford (32-14); 17. Illinois (37-5); 18. Tennessee (39-11); 19. Oregon (31-13); 20. Texas A&M (39-13); 21. Hawaii (41-12); 22. Ohio State (33-12); 23. Florida State (41-15); 24. Massachusetts (33-7-1); 25. Notre Dame (41-9).


1. Alabama (SEC); 2. Michigan (Big Ten); 3. Washington (Pac-10); 4. Florida (SEC); 5. Georgia Tech (ACC); 6. UCLA (Pac-10); 7. Arizona (Pac-10); 8. Texas (Big 12); 9. Louisiana State (SEC); 10. Missouri (Big 12); 11. Oklahoma (Big 12); 12. Arizona State (Pac-10); 13. California (Pac-10); 14. Georgia (SEC); 15. Hawaii (WAC); 16. Oklahoma State (Big 12);

17. Texas A&M (Big 12); 18. Illinois (Big Ten); 19. Tennessee (SEC); 20. Stanford (Pac-10); 21. Florida State (ACC); 22. North Carolina (ACC); 23. San Diego State (MWC); 24. Oregon (Pac-10); 25. DePaul (Big East); 26. Virginia (ACC); 27. Massachusetts (A-10); 28. Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt); 29. Ohio State (Big Ten); 30. Kentucky (SEC); 31. Fordham (A-10); 32. Brigham Young (MWC);

33. Louisville (Big East); 34. Illinois State (Missouri Valley); 35. UAB (C-USA); 36. Hofstra (Colonial); 37. Notre Dame (Big East); 38. Auburn (SEC); 39. Maryland (ACC); 40. Arkansas (SEC); 41. FIU (Sun Belt); 42. Radford (Big South); 43. Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun); 44. UCF (C-USA); 45. Texas Tech (Big 12); 46. East Carolina (C-USA); 47. Fresno State (WAC); 48. Mississippi State (SEC);

49. Northwestern (Big Ten); 50. Southern Illinois (Missouri Valley); 51. Houston (C-USA); 52. Longwood (Independent); 53. North Texas (Sun Belt); 54. Long Island (Northeast); 55. North Carolina State (ACC); 56. Nebraska (Big 12); 57. Iowa State (Big 12); 58. Ball State (MAC); 59. Chattanooga (Southern); 60. Mississippi (SEC); 61. Baylor (Big 12); 62. Penn State (Big Ten); 63. Tulsa (C-USA); 64. Charlotte (A-10);

65. UNLV (MWC); 66. Oregon State (Pac-10); 67. UTEP (C-USA); 68. Purdue (Big Ten); 69. Virginia Tech (ACC); 70. Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt); 71. Iowa (Big Ten); 72. South Carolina Upstate (Atlantic Sun); 73. Syracuse (Big East); 74. Georgia State (Colonial); 75. Troy (Sun Belt); 76. Liberty (Big South); 77. Creighton (Missouri Valley); 78. Boston University (America East); 79. South Florida (Big East); 80. Kent State (MAC);

81. Cal State Northridge (Big West); 82. Drake (Missouri Valley); 83. Towson (Colonial); 84. UT Martin (Ohio Valley); 85. Stetson (Atlantic Sun); 86. Texas State (Southland); 87. McNeese State (Southland); 88. Kansas (Big 12); 89. Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley); 90. Stephen F. Austin (Southland); 91. Marshall (C-USA); 92. Cal Poly (Big West); 93. Colorado State (MWC); 94. Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun); 95. South Alabama (Sun Belt); 96. Elon (Southern);

97. Cornell (Ivy); 98. San Jose State (WAC); 99. Georgia Southern (Southern); 100. Western Illinois (Summit); 101. Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley); 102. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Southland); 103. Cleveland State (Horizon); 104. Memphis (C-USA); 105. Texas-Arlington (Southland); 106. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt); 107. Long Beach State (Big West); 108. Kennesaw State (Atlantic Sun); 109. St. Joseph’s (Atlantic 10); 110. Butler (Horizon); 111. Nicholls State (Southland); 112. Central Michigan (MAC);

113. Louisiana Tech (WAC); 114. Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun); 115. (tie) Loyola Marymount (Pacific Coast) and South Carolina (SEC); 117. Lehigh (Patriot); 118. UC Davis (Big West); 119. Utah (MWC); 120. North Florida (Atlantic Sun); 121. Stony Brook (America East); 122. UNC Greensboro (Southern); 123. New Mexico State (WAC); 124. James Madison (Colonial); 125. Morehead State (Ohio Valley); 126. Winthrop (Big South); 127. Middle Tennessee (Sun Belt); 128. Southern Mississippi (Conference USA).