The No. 24
University of Florida Softball team (32-14, 11-5 SEC) won an exciting 6-4
decision over No. 5 Tennessee (35-5, 8-5 SEC) in Knoxville on Saturday evening. The Gators out hit Tennessee
11-5. Junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.)
finished the game with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and reached base safely
in all four appearances. The game will air tape delayed tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
and Monday at 2:30 p.m. on Cox Sports.
In a crazy
top of the second, the Gators took a 2-0 lead. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.)
hit the second home run of her career just over the left field fence with two
runners on base. The umpire crew determined that Norfleet
passed the runner in front of her between first and second, so she was called
out but the two runs she drove in gave her team an early lead. Because of the
decision, Norfleet was only officially credited with
a two-RBI base hit.
added more runs in the third inning that saw Tennessee make two pitching changes. With
one out, senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm
Beach Gardens, Fla.)
gave the Gators back their third run with a solo home run to right field. Tennessee starter Monica
Abbott left the game in favor of reliever Megan Rhodes in the circle. Rhodes
gave up three consecutive base hits, allowing senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) to score on a junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.)
base hit down the left field line for a 4-0 Gator lead. Abbott reentered the
game in the pitching circle for Tennessee.
Abbott gave up a base hit to junior Lacy
Howard (League City, Texas) to load the bases, but was able to get the
final two outs to end the inning with the Gators ahead 4-0.
In the top
of the fifth, senior Stacie Pestrak (Gainesville,
Fla.) led off with a walk from
Abbott. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Kim Waleszonia
and scored on a base hit by Cameron to take a 5-0 lead.
Tennessee came back in bottom of the sixth to narrow Florida’s lead to just
one run. Lindsay Schutzler beat out an infield base
hit to lead off the inning. She moved to second on a Sarah Fekete
sacrifice. Kristi Durant walked to put runners at first and second for Tonya
Callahan. A Gator error allowed Schutzler to score
from second and leave Durant and Callahan on second and third. Katherine Card
walked to load the bases. Florida freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
came in to relieve junior starter Stacey
Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) in the pitching circle. Nelson got the
first batter she faced to pop up for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter
Natalie Brock drew a bases loaded walk to score Tennessee’s second run of the inning. A Liane Horiuchi base hit to right
field score two runners bring the Lady Vols within
one at 5-4.
gave the Gators a two run cushion in the top of the seventh as she hit her
first home run of the season off the top of the screen protecting the highway
that runs above Tyson
Park along the outfield.
earned the win after pitching 5.1 innings, giving up three hits and striking
out three. None of the runs she gave up were earned. Stevens’ record improves
to 14-3. Nelson pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn the save, her fourth of
the season. Abbott took the loss for Tennessee,
moving her record to 24-4. She struck out seven, walked four and gave up five
of the six Gators runs, four of them were earned.
Due to severe
weather and heavy rains in the Knoxville area on Friday evening, Saturday’s
doubleheader has been moved to Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Both games will air
live on Gatorzone.com via yahoo.com. The second game will be televised live on
College Sports Television.