Sunday March 12, 2000Softball Finishes Runner-up At Speedline Invite
The Florida softball team finished runner-up at the Speedline Invitational for its best showing ever at the tournament following a 7-0 win over Virginia Tech in the semifinals and a 9-2 loss to No. 18 South Carolina in the championship Sunday afternoon held by South Florida.
Pitchers Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Philips) and Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), and catcher Emily Marino (Joliet, Ill./Joliet) were named to the all-tournament team. The Gators (24-10) went 6-3 in the four-day event.
The Gators posted their second win of the weekend over the Hokies (11-7) to advance to the championship game. South Carolina defeated Mississippi State 2-1 in eight innings to advance. Florida scored three in each the second and fourth innings. Jenn Cordero (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) led the way offensively. The senior recorded two of UF’s nine hits in three plate appearances and scored two runs.
Landry recorded the win with a two-hit shutout to improve to 10-5 on the year. She struck out seven and walked two in six innings pitched. It was her fourth scoreless game pitched this season.
Senior Jenn Lutsi (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) and Marino hit back-to-back solo home runs to put Florida on the board against the Gamecocks (18-9) in the fourth frame, reducing the USC lead to 5-2. The duo last accomplished that feat April 30, 1999 at Mississippi State. It was Marino’s third round-tripper on the weekend.
USC scored its runs off of 10 hits and three UF errors. Dieter (10-2) received the loss. She allowed six earned runs and a walk and fanned three batters in the seven-inning decision. USC’s Joyce McMillan, who was named the tournament MVP, picked up the win. McMillan gave up two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out three batters. She improved to 8-1. Megan Matthews came in relief after four innings and picked up her fourth save this year. Matthews garnered Most Valuable Pitcher honors.
The Gators will face the Gamecocks again this weekend in UF’s Southeastern Conference opener at Columbia, S.C. USC split a doubleheader with Auburn March 4 to open league play with a 1-1 mark. The teams will play two twinbills Friday, March 17 and Saturday March 18 at 5 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. USC and UF rank 1-2 in the Eastern Division.