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Saturday April 15, 2006Softball Falls Short in Doubleheader with Bulldogs

Gainesville, FL

The No. 23 Florida softball team (33-18, 12-9 SEC) and the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs (41-9, 21-3 SEC) tallied 35 hits and 29 runs in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader at the Florida Softball Stadium. Despite some strong Gator hitting, the home team fell in both games, 8-3 and 12-6 in eight innings.

 

The Gators started game two right as the sat down the Bulldogs in order in the top of the first with some great defensive plays by freshman third baseman Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) and junior first baseman Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.). Then the Gator bats took care of business in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) led off with a base hit through the left side. She stole second to put herself in scoring for senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.). Cameron knocked a base hit to left field to score Waleszonia for the 1-0 Gator lead. With one out, Zick reached on an error by the Bulldog pitcher, leaving runners on first and third. Zick stole second to put two runners in scoring position for junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.). Roussell took a full count offering from Georgia pitcher Jessica Doucette over the fence right inside the left foul pole to give the Gators a 4-0 lift. The homer was Roussellís third of the season.

 

Zick led off the Gator half of the third with a walk. With one out, she scored on a junior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) base hit to shallow center for the 5-0 Florida lead.

 

Georgia scored its first runs of game two in the top of the fifth. Doucette led off the inning with a base hit to left, the first Bulldog hit of the game. Ashley Godfrey drew a walk from Florida junior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.). Both runners advanced on a Allison Horne sacrifice for the first out of the inning. A base hit by Kasi Carroll brought in both runners to narrow Floridaís lead to three runs at 5-2. A base hit by Sojourner Moody and a hit by pitch to Kellie Middleton loaded the bases. A fielderís choice play which found all runners safe allowed Carroll to score the third Georgia run. A Chelsea Cantillo base hit brought in Moody to bring Georgia within on run at 5-4.

 

Florida went up by two again in the bottom of the fifth. Roussell reached on a fielderís choice that resulted in the second out of the inning, but scored from first on a double by Howard to make the score 6-4.

 

Georgia loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh. A two RBI base hit by Doucette tied the game at six.

 

Cameron led off the Gator half of the seventh with a base hit to left center. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) followed with a walk. Georgia called ace Carroll up from the bull pen to replace starter Doucette in the circle to try to stop the Gator rally. Freshman Alicia Spack (West Lafayette, Ind.) came in to pinch run for Butler. Both Gator runners advanced on a passed ball on a dropped third strike to Zick. Carroll intentionally walked Roussell to load the bases, but the Gators were not able to push the run across, sending the game into extra innings.

 

The Bulldogs scored six runs on five hits, including two home runs in the top of the eighth.

 

The Gators got a runner to third in the bottom of the inning, on a base hit by sophomore Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.), a Georgia error and a fielderís choice, but it was not enough as no run was able to cross the plate and the game ended in a 12-6 extra-inning win for the Bulldogs.

 

Stevens went the complete game in the circle for Florida to move her record to 15-5 on the year. She pitched 16.1 of the Gators 22 innings on the weekend. Kasi Carroll earned her third win of the weekend to improve her record to 19-3.

 

Cameron and Howard were both 2-for-4 for the game. Cameron scored a run and drove in a run, while Howard drove in two runs. Zick and Roussell each scored two runs for Florida in game two.

 

Despite being only out hit by two, a big Georgia seventh inning led to a 8-3 loss for the Gators in game one.

 

The Gators scored first in the bottom of the opening frame of game one. Waleszonia reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning. She came around to score on a two-run home run by Butler. The home run over the left centerfield fence was Butlerís 14th of the season and brought her within one of tying the Florida record for season home runs.

 

Georgia answered with a lead off home run by Jessica McAllister in the top of the second to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Gators.

 

The Bulldogs loaded the bases with only one out in the top of the fourth on a hit, a walk and a Gator error, but the Gator defense took care of business to get the final two outs. Florida pitcher Stevens got the final out of the inning, sitting down Becky Mohl on strikes.

 

Florida added a third run in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) drew a lead off walk. With two outs in the inning, Waleszonia poked a base hit to right center. The Bulldog right fielder mishandled the ball, allowing Norfleet to score from first for a 3-1 Gator lead.

 

Georgia tied the game on a two-run home run to centerfield by Ashley Godfrey.

 

The Bulldogs went up 8-3 on four one-out hits in the top of the seventh.

 

Freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) came into relieve starter Stevens in the sixth to take the loss, evening her record at 9-9 on the year. Stevens struck out five in the first five innings, giving up only three hits and one run. Kasi Carroll came in to relieve Georgia starter Katie Griffith in the fifth to earn the win, improving her record to 18-3.

 

Centerfielder Howard tied her career high with five putouts in game one. Waleszonia finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored. Butler was 1-for-2 with a run, two RBI, a walk and a home run.

 

The Gators will travel to Orlando on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game with UCF. The game will be broadcast live on GatorZone.com via yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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