Softball team (41-22, 17-13 SEC) used nine hits to score six runs in a 6-1
defeat of the South Carolina Gamecocks (28-30, 8-21 SEC) in the final
regular-season Southeastern Conference game of the season. The Gators pulled
together for a textbook team win. Nine different players reached base, five
scored runs and four had RBI in the win.
Florida was slow to get the bats going,
relying on the bottom of the lineup to start a rally in the bottom of the third
inning. Number eight hitter, freshman Brooke
Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.), led off the inning with a base hit to
center. She stole second to move into scoring position. Senior Stacie Pestrak
(Gainesville, Fla.) followed with a second base hit to
center. Freshman Kim Waleszonia
drove a double through the right side to score Johnson. Senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
drove in Pestrak and Waleszonia
with a base hit through the left side for the 3-0 Gator lead.
South Carolina scored its run in the top of the
sixth. Christie Hamilton drew a two-out walk from Florida
junior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.).
Hamilton advanced to second on a wild pitch and
scored on an Ashley Smith double to center field to narrow Florida’s led to 3-1.
answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas)
led off with a base hit to left. She stole second and advanced on a bunt single
by fellow junior Shelley Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.).
Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore pinch hitter Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) drew a walk to bring in Howard and keep
the bases loaded for Waleszonia. Pestrak
reentered the game to run for Ratliff at first and Kate Pouliot
replaced Jessica Barnes in the circle for South Carolina. Waleszonia
smacked the first pitch Pouliot offered for an
infield base hit to bring in Stevens and put the Gators up 5-1. With two outs,
and the bases still loaded, junior Lauren
Calif.) drew her team leading
34th walk of the season to bring in Pestrak and give
Florida the five-run lead at 6-1.
Stevens (19-6) pitched the complete game, giving up only three hits, to earn
her 19th win of the season. Hamilton
was the starting pitcher for the Gamecocks and gave up the three runs in the
third to take the loss and move her record to 15-16.
led the way for the Gators with a 2-for-2 performance with two runs scored. Waleszonia finished the day 2-for-4 with a run, a double
and two RBI. Cameron also had two RBI for the Gators in the game. Florida stole four bases
in the game, one each from Cameron, Howard, Pestrak
will play their final regular season home game on Tuesday at 5 p.m. against the
Stetson Hatters. The six seniors will be honored before the game. The first 500
fans will receive a free give away featuring Kristen Butler, Lindsey Cameron,
Lindsay Norfleet, Stacie Pestrak,
Laura Templeton and Mirelis Torres.