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Saturday February 10, 2007Softball Suffers First Loss of Season in Extra Innings to Wisconsin

Tempe, AZ

The Florida Softball team (3-1) dropped its first game of the season in a nine-inning breath taker,4-3 to Wisconsin (3-0) in the second game of game two at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

 

As in the first game of the day versus Arizona, the meeting with the Badgers came down to the bottom of extra innings, only this time it was the ninth inning, and this time the Gators were on the losing end.

 

With Florida ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Wisconsinís Joey Daniels was placed on second due to international tie breaker rules. With two outs, Valyncia Raphael knocked a double to right center to tie the game at 3-3. Theresa Boruta came in to pinch hit for Katie Soderberg and drove a single to left field to score Raphael to win the game for the Badgers 4-3.

 

Wisconsin opened the scoring in the top of the first with a solo home run by Katie Hnatyk.

 

Florida answered in the second. Senior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) drew a one-out walk from Badger pitcher Eden Brock. Sophomore Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) was safe on a Wisconsin error on a sacrifice bunt, allowing Howard to advance all the way to third. Freshman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) hit a bunt single back at the pitcher to load the bases.Sophomore Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) reached on a fielderís choice as Howard was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Sophomore Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) knocked a RBI base hit through the left side gap to score Hilberth and tie the game at 1-1.

 

The game stayed knotted through regulation and headed into extra innings. Florida struck first in the top of the eighth. Freshman Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Fla.) started the inning at second. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.). With one out, junior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) pinch hit for Howard and a drove a double to left center to score Enea to give the Gators the 2-1 lift.

 

The Badgers started the eighth with Soderberg on second. Athena Vasquez advanced her with a sacrifice bunt. Hnatyk drove a two out base hit to second to tie the game.

 

Florida went up by a run again in the ninth. Hilberth started at second and advanced to third on a passed ball. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Brooks to go up 3-2.

 

Waleszonia led the Gator offense with a 3-for-5 performance. Hilberth went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice and scored two of the Gators three runs. Hilberth also had a good performance behind the plate as she recorded nine putouts and an assist, including throwing out the only runner attempting to steal on her.

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Senior Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) pitched the complete 8.2 innings in the loss, moving her record to 1-1 on the season. She struck out five and only walked one. Leah Vanevenhoven came in the game to retire the final two Gator batters and earned the win to move to 3-0 on the season.

 

The Gators wrap up Kajikawa Classic play on Sunday with one game against New Mexico at 1 p.m. ET. The game will air live on www.GatorZone.com via yahoo.com.

 

 

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