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Sunday March 26, 2006Softball Wins 3-2, Extra-Inning Thriller Over Arkansas

Gainesville, FL

The Florida Softball team (26-11, 5-4 SEC) won its second Southeastern Conference series, two games to one, with a thrilling 3-2, 10-inning win over the Arkansas Lady Backs (16-16, 5-7 SEC) on Sunday at the Florida Softball Stadium.

 

The Gators out hit the Lady Backs by just one at 9 to 8. Five of Floridaís nine hits were bunt singles by two players. Senior Stacie Pestrak (Gainesville, Fla.) finished the day with a 3-for-3 performance, while freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) was 2-for-5.

 

The Lady Backs scored first in the top of the second frame. Back-to back base hit and a fielderís choice to lead off the inning put runners on first and second with one out. Dayna Huckabee hit a double to let to score Blaire Perry. It looked as if another run would score on the hit, but the Gator defense gunned the run down at the plate. A second Arkansas would come across though in the next at bat as Huckabee scored on a wild pitch from Florida freshman pitcher Lindsay Littlejohn (Bartow, Fla.) for a 2-0 Arkansas lead.

 

Florida tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Littlejohn was hit by a pitch with one out in the inning to start the Gator rally. Junior Shelley Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) came in the game to pinch run for the Gator pitcher. She scored on a double by senior pinch hitter Mirelis Torres (Tampa, Fla.). Pestrak reentered the game to run for Torres, She stole third and took home on an error by the Lady Back third baseman to tie the game at two runs a piece.

 

Both teams would hold the other at bay through the remainder of regulation, sending the game into extra innings. The two teams remained knotted going into the top of the tenth, starting the international tie breaker rule where the last batter out in the previous inning is placed at second.

 

The Gator offense went by the textbook for the win in its half of the 10th. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) was placed on second. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.). Junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) plated the winning run with a sacrifice fly to left for the 3-2 Gator win.

 

Freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) relieved starter Littlejohn in the seventh and pitched the final four innings for the win to improve her record to 8-5 on the season. Katy Henry pitched the complete game loss for Arkansas to move her record to 9-6 on the year.

 

Florida returns to action at the Florida Softball Stadium Tuesday night with a doubleheader against Auburn beginning at 5 p.m. The first game of the doubleheader will air live throughout Florida on SunSports.

 

 

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