(AP) — The NCAA reprimanded Florida softball coach Tim Walton and former player Kelsey Bruder on Friday for unprofessional and unsportsmanlike behavior.
The NCAA said Walton and Bruder made disparaging comments about the home plate umpire after a 14-4 loss to Arizona State in Game 1 of the Women's College World Series on June 6.
Walton and Bruder accused Chris Drumm of inconsistent balls and strikes and a blown call that likely cost them a run in the first inning.
Drumm also was behind the plate for Florida's first game against Arizona State days earlier. The Gators weren't thrilled with her strike zone then, and lashed out after similar calls in the championship series.
"I'm looking forward to playing ASU without her behind the plate," Bruder said after the game. "I'm going to try to be as nice as possible, but 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."
The NCAA committee determined the comments violated its rules.
Walton apologized in a statement Friday.
"As we relayed to the committee at the Women's College World Series and in an apology letter, our actions and comments at the first championship series press conference were wrong," Walton said. "We regret any negative attention this brought to the Women's College World Series. It is a tremendous event and we are very proud to represent the University of Florida in Oklahoma City."
Florida (56-13) was swept in the best-of-three World Series finals for the second time in three years.
Bruder won the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top softball player after leading the Southeastern Conference in runs (32), hits (40), RBIs (36), slugging percentage (.883) and home runs (11) last season. She now plays professionally for the Florida Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch league.