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Several swings, rarely misses for Gators

Eighteen runs, 16 hits, nine hitters, four opposing pitchers, two home runs and one big victory. Land O'Lakes dismantled Lake Howell 18-1 on Friday.

By CHRIS WAGENHEIM
Published April 28, 2007


LAND O'LAKES - Eighteen runs, 16 hits, nine hitters, four opposing pitchers, two home runs and one big victory. Land O'Lakes dismantled Lake Howell 18-1 on Friday.

Land O'Lakes scored in the first off an Alexis Aubuchon home run, but the second inning proved explosive. The Gators sent 14 to the plate, scoring 13 runs on nine hits.

"It has been what we've been working on the whole season, " coach Jamie Martin said. "We are peaking now, which is the best time to do it. We have conquered a lot of adversity, which has made us a better team and it has gotten us to this point now."

Two runs were scored before the Silver Hawks decided to relieve pitcher Shelby Plank with Brittney Dirobbio. Dirobbio didn't fare much better, letting seven more runs come in before another reliever, Jenna Berman, faced bases loaded and a hot Aubuchon. Aubuchon burned Berman, putting it over the fence for her second homer of the game, this time a grand slam.

"That put the game out there, " Lake Howell coach Joe Huggins said of Aubuchon's grand slam. "It put the game away, definitely. She ought to be looked at by some colleges; she has got a great swing."

The Gators scored three runs in the third and another in the fourth, despite another pitching change. Every starter for Land O'Lakes recorded a hit.

"Every single person in the lineup was hitting the ball and we even had some bunts drop down, " Martin said. "This is regionals, this is the elite of the elite right now. There are a lot of teams that wish they were in this spot right now, and you know, we played good ball."