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Saturday February 19, 2000Softball Sweeps McNeese State

Gainesville, FL

Behind double-digit hits in both games and an individual career-best pitching performance, the Gator softball team swept McNeese State 13-3 and 8-2 in the GRU Softball Classic Saturday at the Florida Softball Stadium.

Florida (9-1) used a 10-run third inning in the first game to go ahead 13-2. The Gators went through the order plus five batters, scoring on seven hits and an error. Nicole Kreipl (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) and Ashley Boone (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) each went 2-for-2 with two RBI in the inning, including a Boone double. Emily Marino (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) took her first pitch of the day over the right field wall for a three-run homer to open the scoring in the first inning. It was her second this year.

In the second game, Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) set a personal best for strikeouts for the third time in five games. Landry (5-0) struck out 15 batters, bringing her season total to 5210 more than her 1999 total. The junior had a one-hit shutout through six and a third innings, including seven straight K's. But, Landry gave up her first walk of the night to Katie Trout, who had recorded McNeese's (1-8) only hit to that point. Then first baseman Heather Moreaux homered to right center, breaking up the shutout. The Cowgirls got one more hit before Landry fanned her last two batters. It was the only time a batter in the fifth through ninth spots did not strike out.

"That (Landry's performance) was fabulous," fourth-year Coach Larry Ray said. "And, our defense was very relaxed. That was key. If you have good pitching, you're going to come out on top, and we had it tonight."

Landry credited a quick adjustment for her improvement since only fanning three batters in her win over Northwestern Friday. "Last night, I struggled with some of my pitches. I worked a lot on working the rise ball under. That's what I use for my strikeout pitch, and tonight it was there."

The Gators recorded a season-best 13 hits in the first game, led by Kreipl, who finished 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI, and Marino, who was 2-for-2 with three runs, a walk and five RBI. Freshman Prissie Walden (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) registered a game-high 3-for-4 second-game performance with a run and four RBI. UF posted 10 hits in the second game.

Freshman Nicole Michael (Phoenix, Ariz./Greenway) recorded the win in the Game 1. Michael (2-0) closed the book with five hits, three runs, three walks and a career-high eight strikeouts through five innings as the game ended due to the eight-run Mercy Rule.

The Gators are the only team to sweep a twinbill in the tournament so far. Samford (3-5) split with Northwestern (5-5), winning the first game 5-4, but losing the second game 3-0.

GRU Classic Tournament Standings
FLORIDA 3-1
Northwestern 2-2
Samford 2-2
McNeese State 1-3

Northwestern and McNeese State play Sunday at 10 a.m. Florida will take on Samford at 2 p.m. Both times indicate doubleheaders. Admission is free.

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