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Saturday March 17, 2007Softball Swept in Doubleheader at LSU

Gainesville, FL

The No. 19 Florida Softball team lost its first Southeastern Conference doubleheader of the season Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge. The Gators fell to No. 10 LSU, 7-0 in the first game of the day, and 4-1 in game two.


LSU pushed across four runs in the bottom of the first of game one, as all nine batters in the line up made plate appearances. The Gator defense looked good in their first play of the game as DeeDee Henderson led off the game with a hit just over the head of Florida senior third baseman Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.). Senior shortstop Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) fielded the ball behind Zick and fired it to sophomore second baseman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) as Henderson tried to take an extra base on the play. Waleszonia and first baseman Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) connected on the run down to retire Henderson. An error by the Gator defense leaving Jazz Jackson safe at first following that play would prove costly and begin a LSU rally. Senior pitcher Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) hit Leslie Klein with a pitch. Klein and Jackson stole second and third to move both runner sin to scoring position. Back-to-back hits by Killian Roessner and Kristen Hobbs scored the runners for a 2-0 lead. A walk to Quinlan Duhon left two more runners on base for Vanessa Soto. Sotoís base hit scored two more runs for the 4-0 LSU lead.


The Tigers added three more runs in the fifth. Roessner and Duhon scored on a Gator error. Soto crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly from Taylír Hollis to increase LSUís lead to seven runs.


Florida had base runners in the first, third, sixth and seventh innings, but were not able to push any runners beyond second. Sophomore Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) and Waleszonia had Floridaís only hits of the game. Hilberth dropped an infield single in front of the catcher to lead off the third. Waleszonia reached base in two of her three at bats. She reached in the second on a catcherís interference and knocked a base hit through the right side in the sixth. Roussell did not record an at bat in the game, but reached three times as she was hit by three pitches from LSU ace Emily Turner.


Turner earned the win in the game, improving her record to 9-3 on the year. Stevens went to 8-7 in the loss for Florida, as she gave up 10 hits. Three of the seven runs she gave up were earned.


LSU scored the first run of game two in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Duhon hit a double that hugged the left field line. Erica Sluss came in to pinch run for her and advanced to third on a base hit by Soto. A Hollis base hit scored Sluss for the 1-0 lead. On the play, Soto attempted to advance an extra base, but the Gator defense took her out at third for the second out of the game. Florida sophomore pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los, Alamitos, Calif.) ended the LSU threat as she struckout Andrea Smith for the final out of the inning.


Three straight base hits to start the bottom of the sixth plated a second LSU run. Gardiner caught an infield pop up from Roessner for the first out of the inning. The fourth base hit of the inning, this time from Hobbs, scored two more runs for a 4-0 Tiger lead.


Senior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) broke up the shut out in the top of the seventh as she blasted a solo home run over the fence in left center. It was her second home run of the season and the eighth of her career.


Floridaís only other hits of the game came from Waleszonia and Zick. Waleszonia extended her team-leading hit streak to six games with a base hit to lead off the fourth. Zick followed Howardís home run in the seventh with a base hit through the left side on an 0-2 count.


Dani Hofer struck out 11 Gators in the win for LSU to improve her record to 11-1 on the year. Nelson went to 12-6 on the season in the loss. She struck out six LSU batters, increasing her strikeout total to 115 on the season, surpassing her mark of 111 from her freshman season.


The series wraps up on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.


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