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Friday April 14, 2006Softball Loses to Georgia, 8-5

Gainesville, FL

The No. 23 Florida softball team (33-16, 12-7 SEC) worked for a late-inning comeback that fell short in an 8-5 loss to No. 9 Georgia (39-9, 19-3 SEC) at the Florida Softball Stadium Friday evening. The Gators found themselves in a 7-0 hole, due in part to five defensive miscues, after three and a half innings, but they got their bats working to fight back and come within three of the SEC East leading Bulldogs.

 

Georgia scored first in the top of the second inning. Jessica McAllister led off with a home run to center for a 1-0 Bulldog lead. Jessica Doucette followed with a double to left center. She scored on a Kasi Carroll double to center to take a two-run lead.

 

Georgia added another run in the top half of the following frame on another Doucette double.

 

The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead after the fourth. They added four runs on three hits and two Gator errors. Georgia scored all its runs with only one out in the inning. A collision between Florida senior catcher Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) and McAllister at the plate for the second out of the inning incited the Gator fans and inspired the Gator bats.

 

Butler closed the gap to four runs as she knocked a three-run homer over the trees in left field following consecutive base hits by freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) and senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.).

 

Georgia stretched the lead to five runs again in the top of the fifth. Sojourner Moody led off the inning with a base hit. She advanced to second on a Gator throwing error on a Kellie Middleton fly out and to third on a Courtney Knight ground out. Moody scored on a Chelsea Cantillo base hit for the 8-3 lead.

 

The Gators answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth frame. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) led off the inning with an infield base hit. With two outs, Waleszonia was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and third for Cameron. Cameron knocked a Carroll offering through the left side to score both runners and narrow the Georgia lead to 8-5.

 

Junior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.) led off the bottom of the sixth with a base hit, but the Gators Were not able to push another run across.

 

Junior Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) took the loss for the Gators, only her fourth of the season to move her record to 15-4 on the year. Only two of the seven runs she gave up were earned. Freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) pitched 3.2 innings in relief, holding the Bulldogs to just three hits. Carroll earned the win for Georgia improving her record to 17-3.

 

The two teams will face off again tomorrow in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The first game of the doubleheader will air tape delayed on FoxSports South at 4 p.m. Sunday as the SEC-TV Game of the Week. It will also air on SunSports/FSN at midnight at 9 a.m. Monday.

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