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Thursday May 11, 2006Softball Eliminated From SEC Tournament

Athens, GA

The Florida Softball team (42-23) was eliminated from Southeastern Conference Tournament play on Thursday afternoon with a 6-0 loss to Tennessee (51-9) at the UGA Softball Complex in Athens, Ga. The Gators will now have a week to prepare for NCAA Regionals.


Tennessee opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with two runs on three hits and a Gator error. Sarah Fekete and India Chiles led off the inning with back-to-back base hits. A Gator error loaded the bases. Following a pop up by Tonya Callahan, Danielle Pieroniís infield base hit scored two Lady Vol runs. The next two batters flew out the center to end the inning and hold Tennessee to a 2-0 lead.


The Lady Vols added three more runs in the third frame. Much like the first inning, Chiles and Lindsay Schutzler lead off the inning with consecutive base hits. A walk to Callahan from Florida junior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) loaded the bases. A Pieroni ground out to third brought in Chiles to give Tennessee a three-run lead. Katherine Card reached a Gator error and Schutzler scored. Alicia Brown, who was pinch running for Callahan scored on a passed ball for the 5-0 UT lead.


Tennessee scored its final run in the sixth as Liane Horiuchi scored on a Chiles base hit through the left side.


Florida got runners on in the first, second and sixth innings. With one out in the first, senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) grabbed an infield base hit. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) was hit by a pitch, but the next two batters did not push the runners any further. In the second, senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) drew a walk with one out in the inning. She advanced to second on a sacrifice hit by freshman Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.). Butler knocked a double to the left centerfield wall in the sixth.


Stevens pitched 2.2 innings in the loss, giving up five hits and five runs, only three of the fice were earned. She also walked one and struck out one. Stevensí record moves to 20-7 on the year. Freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) relieved Stevens with two outs in the third. She gave up only three hits and one run in the remaining 3.1 innings. She also struck out three Lady Vols and walked three. Monica Abbott earned the win for Tennessee to improve to 36-7 this season.


Florida will find out its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. when the 64-team field is announced on ESPN News.





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