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Freshman Stacey Nelson pitched her third shutout of the season to complete doubleheader sweep of MSU

Saturday April 1, 2006Softball Sweeps Bulldogs in Doubleheader in Starkville

Starkville, MS

Freshman Stacey Nelson pitched her third shutout of the season to complete doubleheader sweep of MSU

The Florida softball team (30-12, 9-5 SEC) swept a doubleheader with No. 22 Mississippi State (30-10, 4-4 SEC) in Starkville on Saturday afternoon. The first game of the doubleheader was the Gators’ first win in Starkville since April 30, 1999, breaking a six-game Gator losing streak at the Bulldog’s home field.

 

Florida jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first. With one out, junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) drove a double through the right side. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) set her 11th home run of the season over the left field fence to give the Gators a 2-0 jump. Senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) reached first on a throwing error by Mississippi State pitcher Stephanie Comeaux and advanced to second on the play. Junior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.) drove Cameron home with a base hit through the right side to put Florida up by three runs.

 

Florida junior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) got into a jam in the top of the first, giving up three straight singles to the first three Bulldog batters. She got out of the inning, giving up only one run though as she forced a pop up to Butler behind the plate from the fourth batter. A sacrifice fly to right by Callye Williams score Mississippi State’s run, but also gave the Gators the second out of the inning. Stevens walked the next batter to again load the bases, but then struck out Michelle Kinney for the final out of the inning, to end the first with the Gators leading 3-1.

 

The Gators added another run in the top of the sixth as junior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) took the first offering from Comeaux over the left field fence with two outs in the inning. Howard’s second home run of the season gave the Gators a 4-1 lead.

 

Florida added insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) pinch hit for senior Stacie Pestrak (Gainesville, Fla.) and drove a double to left. Pestrak reentered to run for Norfleet and scored on an error by the Mississippi State right fielder. Freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) went all the way to third on the play. Waleszonia came in on a single up the middle from Roussell to put Florida up 6-1. Butler followed with a base hit to center. Sara Hickerson came in to replace Comeaux in the circle for Mississippi State. Hickerson hit Cameron to load the bases with only one out in the inning. Zick knocked a sacrifice fly to center to score Roussell from third and give the Gators a six-run cushion.   

 

Stevens pitched a great game for the Gators for the win. She struck out seven, including catching four Bulldogs looking, to improve her record to 12-2 on the season. Comeaux took the loss to move her record to 14-4.

 

Florida scored first in game two as well. In the top of the second, Norfleet drew a walk with one out in the inning. Freshman Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) reached base on an error by the Mississippi State third baseman on a sacrifice bunt attempt. A Pestrak bunt single back to the pitcher loaded the bases. Waleszonia ripped a shot to left to bring in Norfleet for the 1-0 Gator lead.

 

The Gators added a second run in the top of the seventh. With one out, Stacie Pestrak reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Mississippi State first baseman. She moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Waleszonia sacrifice fly to left to put Florida up 2-0.

 

Freshman Stacey Nelson struck out four in her third shut out of the season to improve her record to 9-6 on the season. Ragan Blake took the complete game loss for Mississippi State, moving her record to 16-4 on the year.

 

The two teams will play the final game of the series on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

 

 

 

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