Arizona State burns Florida, Gators toast umpire

BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, swright@opubco.com Published: June 6, 2011

Arizona State cooled off Florida's hot bats during the game, but the Gators came back with a few fierce cuts afterward.

ASU pounded four home runs and took quick control of the Women's College World Series championship series with a 14-4 win Monday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series.

But Florida dominated the postgame press conference, not mincing words in their description of Chris Drumm, the home plate umpire for Monday's Game 1.

Florida left fielder Kelsey Bruder reiterated strongly that she wasn't making excuses for her team by complaining about the umpiring, but she was equally strong in her criticism of Drumm's work.

And maybe it's a sign that these Gators will bounce back from Monday's miserable showing with the fire that carried them through two dominant Sunday wins over Alabama to earn their spot in the championship series.

“I'm looking forward to playing ASU without her behind the plate,” Bruder said. “I hope that whoever appoints her reevaluates her abilities.

“I'm not making any excuses. ASU absolutely kicked our butts, and they deserved to win today. But it was really hard adjusting to the inconsistent calls.”

When coach Tim Walton was asked about his team's strategy at the plate being impacted by an inconsistent strike zone, he deferred back to Bruder.

“I'll try to answer it in only a few words, because I don't have that many positive or nice comments to make about her abilities behind the plate,” Bruder said. “But I think it was incredibly inconsistent.

“I think she eliminated every opportunity we had to have a good at-bat. The approach is completely different when it's 0-2 versus 2-0. It was really hard. It was just absolutely miserable. Miserable. The worst ever.”

The confrontations between Florida and Drumm started with the second batter of the night, Tiffany DeFelice. She was hit on the arm by a pitch — as replays clearly showed — but Drumm ruled that the pitch hit her bat instead. DeFelice and Walton both argued the call to no avail.

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