Softball team (25-11, 4-4 SEC) split a doubleheader with the Arkansas Lady
Backs (16-15, 5-6 SEC) at the Florida Softball Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Gators took the first game 9-8 in a hard fought, high scoring battle, then lost the second 5-1.
Arkansas struck first in the top of the
second inning. Kayla Johnson drew a lead off walk. Blaire Perry reached on an
infield hit to third and an error by the Gators allowed Johnson to move over to
third. Perry stole second to out two runners in scoring position for the Lady
Backs. A Carrie Egnor double scored both runners for
the 2-0 Arkansas
answered with three runs on two hits and an Arkansas error in the home half of the
second. Junior Melissa Zick (Tampa,
Fla.) drew a base on balls to
lead off the inning. She reached second on a passed ball. With one out in the
inning, junior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas)
drew a walk. A base hit to center by sophomore designated player Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.)
and a throwing error by the Arkansas
centerfielder allowed two Gator runs to cross the plate and Ratliff to go to
third. A RBI single to left by freshman Brooke
Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) gave the Gators the 3-2 lead.
Arkansas came back to score five runs on six
hits in the third to take a 7-3 lead. Freshman Lindsay Littlejohn (Bartow, Fla.) came in to replace junior starter Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.)
after the Lady Backs rattled off five straight hits.
started to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the third. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando,
Fla.) and Zick drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. Howard
grabbed a base hit to load the bases. Ratliff hit a two-RBI base hit through
the right side to narrow the Lady Back lead to two runs at 7-5.
Florida took the lead in the bottom of the
fourth. With one out, Butler
grabbed a base hit through the left side. Zick
reached on a Lady Back error. A second consecutive Arkansas
error put junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) on base and allowed Butler to score from second. With runners on
second and third, Howard knocked a base hit to centerfield to score Zick and Roussell and out the
Gators up 8-7.
Arkansas tied the game in the top of the
fifth as Perry scored on a Dana Huckabee double.
came back to take the lead again in the bottom of the inning as Butler walked
with the bases loaded to score senior Stacie
Pestrak (Gainesville, Fla.) for the win.
was credited with the win for the Gators to improve her record to 8-4 on the
season. Freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos,
Calif.) pitched the final 1.1
innings to earn her second save of the season.
lineup proved to be the strongest in game one as the six seven and eight
hitters, Howard, Ratliff and Johnson each had two hits and combined for six
just did not go the right way for the Gators. Three errors in the top of the
first proved costly as the Lady Backs took an early 3-0 lead. They added two
more in the top of the fifth on three hits and a sacrifice fly.
scored their only run in the bottom of the fourth. Zick
doubled to left with two outs in the inning. Roussell
brought her home with a base hit.
the 5-1 loss for the Gators in game two to move her record to 7-5. Katy Henry
struck out 10 Gators in the win for Arkansas.
teams will play the deciding game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game
will air live on GatorZone.com via yahoo.com. It is Mirelis
Torres Day and the first 250 fans will receive a free T-shirt featuring Torres’