Sunday February 13, 2000Softball Wins Home Tournament, Off to Best Start
The Florida softball team put up 16 runs and 17 hits in two wins to capture its University Centre Hotel Invitational Title and open the season with the best start in program history Sunday afternoon at the Florida Softball Stadium.
The Gators (6-0) defeated Stetson 6-1 and recorded their third shutout on the weekend with a 10-0 win over South Florida (4-9). The win marked the largest defeat in the series history between the schools, which Florida now leads 8-6.
Fourth-year Coach Larry Ray acknowledged the successful opening weekend. "I think this is the finest weekend we've had in our existence. We hit all around, had great pitching and solid defense. It's very encouraging."
Seven starters recorded hits on the day, and senior Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Philips) threw a three-hit shutout, walked none and struck out nine in the South Florida win. Dieter is 2-0.
Sophomore catcher Andrea Zimbardi (Green, Ohio/Green) hit a shot to left field for a three-RBI double in the fourth to start the scoring in a seven-run inning against the Bulls. Florida scored twice more on successive plays. Then, senior left fielder Nicole Kreipl (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) got her second hit of the inning, a double, to score two more as the Gators went through the order. Florida scored three more in the seventh inning to shut the book on the Bulls. Starter Jaime Anderson (2-3) recorded the loss.
Against Stetson (3-3), Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) picked up her third win to remain perfect this season. Landry yielded five hits, a run, one walk and fanned 11 batters through seven innings. Stetson's Kelli Lightner (0-3) took the loss.
Kreipl led the Gators offensively, going 3-for-6 on the day with two doubles, three RBI and a run. Lora Pinkerton (Phoenix, Ariz./Moon Valley) was second out of all tournament players on the weekend with a .412 average (7-for-17). She led all players with five runs and recorded a double, a triple and four RBI in six games.
Earlier in the day, South Florida defeated Coastal Carolina 5-3, and Stetson got by Coast Carolina 2-1.
Final UCHI Standings:
South Florida 3-3*
Coastal Carolina 0-6
*USF wins tie-breaker in total runs scored.
The Gators are back in action with a doubleheader against Northwestern Friday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. in the GRU Classic at the Florida Softball Stadium.