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Wednesday February 21, 2007Softball Shuts Out North Florida in Doubleheader

Gainesville, FL

The No. 19/19 University of Florida Softball team shut out North Florida in both games of a doubleheader, 5-0 and 1-0, at the Florida Softball Stadium on Wednesday night. Florida got its scoring done early in both games, scoring five runs in the first two innings of game one and one run in the first in game two.

 

Florida opened the game with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) led off the game with her first triple of the season. She came home on a base hit to left by sophomore Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.). Hilberth stole second to move into scoring position for freshman Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.). Enea knocked her third double of the season into left center for the 2-0 Gator lead. Sophomore Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) ripped her second double of the season through the left side to bring Enea home and give her team a three-run lead.

 

The Gators added two more in the second. Senior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) led off the inning with a solo home run over the scoreboard in left center. It was her first of the season and the seventh of her career. Sophomore Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) continued the Gator hitting with a base hit. She moved into scoring position on a Waleszonia ground out and scored on a two-out base hit by senior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.)

 

Senior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) retired 11 straight before giving up a hit in the fourth inning. She gave up only three hits, no walks and struck out eight in the win to move her record to 4-2 on the year. Freshman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) made her first appearance in the pitching circle for the Gators in the seventh. The first batter she faced reached on an error, but the Gator defense turned a double play, allowing Brooks to face only three batters in her first outing in the Orange and Blue. Tori Ahern started the game for North Florid and pitched one inning to receive the loss. Devyn Findley, a graduate of Santa Fe High School in Alachua, finished the game for the Ospreys.

 

Zick hit her third home run of the season to get the Gators’ scoring started with two outs in the bottom of the first. That one run would be all the Gators needed for the win.

 

Both team got runners to second and third in the fourth, but were unable to push a run across. In the Ospreys’ half of the inning, Kelli Rutenbar was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Gwen Williams walked. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Elizabeth Howell. Florida pitcher Stevens struck out the next two North Florida batters to preserve the shut out.

 

In Florida’s half of the inning, senior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) dropped a double into left field with one out. Brooks followed with a base hit and was able to advanced to second as the Osprey defense worked to keep Roussell at third. The defense was able to retire the next to Gator batters to hold Florida’s lead at 1-0.

 

Stevens pitched 5.0 innings in the second game to earn her second win of the day and improve her record to 5-2 on the year. Sophomore Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) pitched two innings of relief to earn her first save of the season. North Florida’s Katie Brosky (3-2) took the loss.

 

The Gators return to action on Friday as they face No. 24/25 UMass and DePaul (rv/rv) in the first day of pool play at the Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. All games will be broadcast live on GatorZone.com via yahoo.com.

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