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Saturday April 8, 2006Softball Upsets No. 5 Tennessee in Knoxville

Knoxville, TN

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.

 

The Gators 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 (Fontana, Calif.) and scored on a base hit by Cameron to take a 5-0 lead.

 

Tennessee came back in bottom of the sixth to narrow Floridaís 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 Tennesseeís 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.

 

Roussell 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.

 

Stevens 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. Stevensí 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, Saturdayís 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.

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