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Lauren Roussell went 3-for-4 with four RBI in the Gators win over Marshall.

Saturday February 17, 2007Florida Earns No. 2 Seed With Split in Cox Day Two

Gainesville, FL

Lauren Roussell went 3-for-4 with four RBI in the Gators win over Marshall.

The Florida Softball team (9-2) split games in the second day of the Cox Communications Classic to earn the second seed in the championship portion of the tournament on Sunday. Florida lost its first game 1-0 in eight innings to NC State, but came back to win the second over Marshall, 9-4.


Florida opened its game with Marshall with four runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) led off the game with a base hit up the middle. She moved into scoring position on a ground out to third from sophomore Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.). Freshman Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) hit an infield single, moving Waleszonia to third. Enea moved to steal second and the thrown down allowed Waleszonia to steal home. . With two outs, a base hit by sophomore Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) scored Enea for a 2-0 lead. Senior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run homer to give the Gators the 4-0 lift.


Marshall answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. J.J. Bitner drove a lead off single up the middle. Caitlyn Jackson drew a walk from Florida senior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.). With one out, Samantha Rodriquez knocked a base hit up the middle to score Bitner from second and move Jackson to third. Gina Guzzo’s hit through the left side tacked on a second Thundering Herd run. Kristina Knecht hit a double to left with two outs to narrow Florida’s lead to one run at 4-3.


The Gators added a run in the top of the second as Waleszonia scored on a Enea sacrifice fly to center.


The Herd kept Florida’s lead at only one run as they added a run in their half of the second when Tara Holmes scored on a Bitner base hit.


Florida added two runs each in the fourth and the seventh. In the fourth, Enea drew a lead off walk. Senior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.) hit a single down the left field line. Gardiner walked to load the bases. Roussell’s base hit down the left field line scored both Enea and Zick for the 7-4 lead.


Sophomore pinch hitter Savana Kelly (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk in the seventh. Senior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) came back in to pinch run for Kelly and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.). Waleszonia’s first home run of the season and second of her career  to secure the five run lead for the Gators.


Stevens started the game for Florida, but was relieved by sophomore Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) with two outs in the fourth, so Nelson was credited with the win, improving her record to 6-1 on the year. Jackson took the loss for Marshall.


Florida lost its first home game of the season, 1-0 in eight innings to North Carolina State in its first game of the day.


Florida did not get its first base runner on until the top of the fifth. Zick drew a lead off walk. Sophomore Ashley Harris (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) came in to pinch run for her, but was not able to move past second.


Zick reached again on a walk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and stole second, but was not able to move further.


Krystal Hawkins was placed at second in the top of the eighth for North Carolina State due to the international tie breaker rule. She advanced to second on a fly out to right by Lisa Nentwig and scored the go ahead run on a Heather Gelbard sacrifice fly to center field.


Kelly started the Gator half of the inning at second. She moved to third on a Roussell base hit to left with one out in the inning. She would get no further though, as the next two batters struck out to end the game with a 1-0 Wolfpack victory.


The Wolfpack first threatened in the top of the first. With one out, Blair Harkey reached on an error. She moved to third on a double by Jen Chamberlin. Harkey attempted to score on a fielder’s choice play to Roussell at short stop, but a great throw from Roussell to Enea at the plate to prevent the run from scoring.


Nelson received her first loss of the season. She struck out seven batters, catching five looking. NC State pitcher Shaina Ervin gave up only one Gator hit and only allowed a total of three Florida base runners in the game.


N.C. State earned the top seed in the tournament with the win over Florida and will play the winner of the 11:15 a.m. Florida versus Marshall game at 1:30 p.m. for the tournament title. Fourth seeded Fordham will play fifth seeded Chattanooga in the consolation game at 9 a.m.


Access to the Florida Softball Stadium and normal softball parking areas will be limited on Sunday. Fans coming to Sunday’s 9 a.m. game will need to park at Fi Field located on Hull Road east of the softball stadium. The field will need to be accessed from 23rd. Those attending the 11:15 a.m. game will be able to park at the Lakeside dorms located on Radio Road. Fans will need to access Radio Road from 34th.     


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