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Saturday March 11, 2000Softball Upsets No. 14 Iowa, To Play in Semifinals

TAMPA

The Florida softball team upset No. 14 Iowa 5-2 to advance to the semifinals of the championship bracket after defeating Massachusetts 4-3 in the first round at the Speedline Invitational held by South Florida at Greco Park Saturday afternoon.

The Gators (23-9) handed Iowa (13-2) just its second loss of the year to improve to 3-4 against Top 25 teams this season. Florida finished second in its pool after losing 4-3 to Boston University in the final round of pool play earlier Saturday.

Florida went up 1-0 against the Hawkeyes in the fifth inning and added four more in the sixth on two doubles, two singles and a walk. Iowa scored one in each the fifth and sixth frames. Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) earned the win. The junior improved to 9-5. Landry tossed a one-hitter through three and a third innings. She gave up four hits, a run, a walk and struck out six batters through four and a third innings of work. Landry also converted her first save opportunity of the year against Massachusetts. She also took the loss against Boston.

Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Philips) came in relief to record a save against the Hawkeyes. She held them to one run on three hits, gave up a walk and fanned one batter in two and two-thirds innings. Dieter (10-1) received the win against Massachusetts. The senior hurled six and two-thirds innings, allowing six hits, three runs, two walks and striking out five batters.

The Gators will face Virginia Tech for the second time this weekend in the semifinals Sunday at 10 a.m. at the USF Stadium. Florida defeated the Hokies 3-2 in the first round of pool play March 9.

Additionally, the Southeastern Conference will be well represented in the semifinals. South Carolina and Mississippi State will play in the other semifiinal, making three of the four remaining teams SEC members.

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