The University of Florida
softball team improved its record to 4-1 on the season with a 5-0 shutout of
the New Mexico Lobos in the final day of the Kajikawa
Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
Florida pulled the trigger quicker against New Mexico than they had in previous games
in the tournament. Sophomore Kim Waleszonia (Fontana,
Calif.) led off the game with a
bunt single right in front of the plate. She advanced to second on a sacrifice
bunt by senior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos,
Calif.). Freshman Francesca Enea
(Woodland Hills, Calif.) stepped up to the plate and hit her
first collegiate home run to give Florida the early 2-0 lead.
Gators added two more runs in a crazy third inning. Roussell
led off the inning with a walk, but was thrown out attempting to steal second. Enea drew a second consecutive walk from New Mexico pitcher Caley
Peterson. An error by Lobo short stop Kim Holyfield
found senior Melissa Zick
safe at first. The third walk of the inning, this time to junior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.),
left the bases loaded for sophomore Ali
scored her second run of the day on a wild pitch to Gardiner, while Zick and Ratliff advanced to third and second. Gardiner hit
a ground ball to the short stop who fired it home to
attempt to get Zick out on the fielder’s choice play.
The home plate umpire called Zick out initially, but
when questioned by Florida
head coach Tim Walton, the umpires in the field reversed the call and called Zick safe at the plate. New Mexico head coach Ty
Singleton voiced his disapproval with the reversal of the call and the umpire
crew determined the initial call should stand. So with two outs, the Gators had
runners at first and third with senior Lacy
Howard (League City, Texas) at the plate. Gardiner stole second
to leave a base open for Howard. Howard knocked a ball to center field for her
first hit of the season to score Ratliff, but was thrown out at second
attempting to stretch her hit to a double.
Florida went up 5-0 in the bottom of the
fifth with a leadoff home run from Zick, her second
of the season.
Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
earned her third win of the season in the Gators second shut out of the year.
She struck out nine Lobo batters, while walking only one. Peterson took the
loss after giving up the first four runs to move her record to 0-2 on the year.
Florida will continue their seven-game road stand on Wednesday
when the Gators travel to Tampa to take on South Florida in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.