Saturday May 12, 2007Softball Falls 1-0 in Nine Innings in SEC Tournament Championship
The No. 19 University of Florida softball team (46-20) fought hard through nine innings, but fell short with a 1-0 loss to No. 5 LSU (52-10) in the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship game.
Mitchell got her first hit of the game with a double to left to lead off the
top of the ninth. She hit the ball deep to the wall, but it looked as if
freshman left fielder Corrie Brooks (Christmas,
The Tigers retired the Gators on a strikeout, a fly out and a ground out in the bottom half of the ninth for the win.
Waleszonia led off the Gator half of the first. Roussell
was hit by an Emily Turner pitch to put runners at first and second. Following
a fly out to center by sophomore Ali
Both teams put their leadoff batters on base in the second, but wouldn’t get them any further than first base.
Waleszonia led off the Gator half of the third with a bunt single just one third of the way down the first base line. She moved to second on Roussell’s 18th sacrifice bunt of the season. Following a Gardiner strike out, Turner intentionally walked Zick to give the Tigers a force at three bases. They wouldn’t need it though as Turner sat Enea down looking, ending the Gator threat.
Brooks grabbed a 2-2 Turner pitch for a base hit up the middle in the bottom of the fourth for the Gators third hit of the game.
drew a one-out walk on a 3-1 count from Turner in the bottom of the fifth. Gardiner
grabbed her first hit of the game with a base hit through the right side.
Senior Shelley Stevens (
Nelson and the Gator defense sat down 16 straight LSU batters before Nelson gave up a walk to Klein on a full count with two outs in the seventh. The Tigers had their first runner reach second in the fifth as Nelson hit Killian Roessner with a pitch following Klein’s walk. Nelson ended the Tiger threat as she struck out Shannon Stein with three pitches.
led off the Gator half of the seventh with a base hit to right. She moved to
second on a Waleszonia sacrifice. Junior Ashley Harris (Royal Palm Beach,
Soto was hit by a Nelson pitch on a 1-2 count to lead off the eighth. There was
a collective sigh and groan in the stadium as Andrea Smith hit a ball deep into
left field. As all the fans in Jane B. Moore Field held their breath, the ball
fell just inside the fence and into sophomore Brooke Johnson’s (
lead off the eighth with a walk for the Gators. Zick
stole second on a junior Mary Ratliff
Nelson went the complete game for the Gators, falling in her sixth 1-0 loss of the year. She gave up five hits, walked only one and struck out nine. Her record is now 30-13 on the year. Hofer pitched the final 4.2 innings for the win to improve to 23-2. She allowed only one Gator hit, walked one and struck out nine. Turner started the game and pitched 4.1 innings, giving up four hits, walking four and striking out five.
Zick’s school-record hit streak ended at 16 games, but she reached base on three walks in the game, finishing the game 0-for-1. Zick, Waleszonia and Nelson were named to the All-Tournament team.
“Obviously, you have to give credit to LSU,” Florida Head Coach Tim Walton said. “Their pitchers did a great job of keeping us off balance with the off-speed pitch and the rise ball. When we got runners in scoring position, they put us out. Give them a lot of credit. They did a good job; they are a good team. For us to go nine innings is attributed to Stacey Nelson. She did a good job pitching. In the end, we are saddened by the loss, but if this helps us rebound and get through regionals and super regionals, then that’s how it works. We played hard, it just wasn’t good enough today.”