A solo home run decided the Florida softball team’s fate in two errorless
games on opening day of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff
Classic Friday afternoon at the South Commons Stadium.
Jenn Lutsi (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) hit her third home run of the
season to give the Gators (15-4) the 1-0 win against No. 17 Illinois-
Chicago (16-9). It was their second victory over a Top 25 team in 2000.
But, Utah’s Nicole Wilkinson did the same thing to defeat Florida 1-0 in
the second game.
Lutsi’s fifth-inning shot over the left field fence broke up the Flames’
Samantha Iuli’s bid for a perfect game. Iuli (10-3) struck out five
batters in six innings. Florida’s Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Philips)
improved to 6-1 on the year. She gave up only four hits, a walk and fanned
six batters through seven innings while recording her third shutout this
Utah (9-7) also scored in the fifth inning. The home run was one of only
five hits that pitcher Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe)
allowed. Landry (6-3) walked one batter and recorded 11 strikeouts through
six innings of work. The Gators recorded four hits from as many players
off of the Utes’ Kristin Arbogast (8-6).
Florida takes on the nation’s top-ranked team Saturday at 10 a.m. The
Gators will play Washington (18-1 as of March 2), which was unanimously
voted the No. 1 team in this week’s NFCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Florida
is 0-2 against the Huskies and 0-3 against No. 1-ranked teams.
Championship brackets will be determined at the conclusion of pool play