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Saturday March 4, 2000Softball Loses to Two Top 20 Teams at NFCA Classic

COLUMBUS, Ga.

A pair of home runs was not enough for Florida as it fell to No. 16 
Alabama 4-3 in the first round of the National Fastpitch Coaches 
Association Leadoff Classic silver medal bracket, in which the Gators were 
seeded eighth after dropping a 6-1 decision to No. 1 Washington in the 
final game of pool play Saturday at the South Commons Stadium.

Third baseman Lora Pinkerton (Phoenix, Ariz./Moon Valley) knocked out her 
first career round-tripper for two RBI en route to finishing the game 2-
for-4 at the plate. Centerfielder Jenn Lutsi (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) 
hit her second in two days and fifth on the year, a solo shot which put 
Florida (15-6) on the board first in the second frame. 

The Tide (19-4) went up by one in the fourth on three hits. But, 
Pinkerton’s homer put the Gators back up in their half of the fifth. Two 
errors and a hit in the second half of the inning plated the deciding runs 
for Alabama.

Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) received the loss. Landry (6-
4) went four and two-thirds innings, giving up five hits, a walk and three 
earned runs, and struck out five batters. Freshman Nicole Michael 
(Phoenix, Ariz./Greenway) came in relief and shut down the Tide's offense. 
Michael (3-1) walked just one batter and fanned three.

Against Washington (19-1), Lutsi scored Florida’s lone run after leading 
off with a double. Sophomore right fielder Andrea Zimbardi (Green, 
Ohio/Green) sent her in on a fielder’s choice. The top-ranked Huskies put 
up runs in the first and third innings. But, a three-run fifth off of four 
hits and a walk gave them all of the momentum. Washington scored its final 
run in the sixth. 

Michael took the loss. She gave up 11 hits, five runs, three walks and 
struck out two batters through four and one-third innings. Senior Beth 
Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Philips) closed, allowing three hits, a run, a 
walk and striking out five batters.

The Gators play Utah (8-11) Sunday at 9 a.m. in the consolation bracket. 
Utah defeated Florida 1-0 in pool play Friday.

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