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Saturday March 18, 2000Softball Gives South Carolina Worst Loss Since '98

COLUMBIA, S.C.

The 25th-ranked University of Florida softball team pounded 15 hits to 
hand No. 17 South Carolina its worst loss since 1998, a 12-run shutout, to 
split the four-game weekend series after dropping the first game of 
Saturday’s doubleheader 6-1 at Beckham Field.

The Gator bats blasted the Gamecock’s (22-11, 3-3 SEC) pitchers in 
Friday’s nightcap shutout, recording the most hits and runs against USC 
this season, and UF (26-12, 2-2 SEC) outdid itself again in the series 
closer.

“I was very pleased with the way we swung the bats,” fourth-year Coach 
Larry Ray said. “We faced a very good pitcher. We made some adjustments, 
and it was nice to see players, that I know have the capability, be more 
aggressive.”

Six Gators had a multi-hit game, led by senior Jenn Lutsi (Naples, 
Fla./Barron Collier). The center fielder went 3-for-4 with a grand slam 
for five RBI and three runs. Her seventh home run of the year capped off a 
nine-run fifth frame for UF in which 13 Gators had plate appearances. All 
but one got on base until the third out. Junior Emily Marino (Joliet, 
Ill./Joliet) led off the inning with a round tripper, her second of the 
day, and became tied for UF’s single-season home run mark with eight on 
the year.

Senior Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) recorded her second 
shutout game of the series, allowing just four hits, two walks and 
striking out three batters. Dieter improved to 12-2. USC’s Joyce McMillan 
took her second loss of the weekend after giving up two runs on three hits 
in one inning. McMillan is 9-3. Megan Matthews came in, and the Gators 
took control of the pitcher that held them to five hits in the first game. 
UF got 10 runs on 12 hits in three and two-thirds inning off of the All-
America senior.

“I was surprised how well we hit her (Matthews),” Ray said. “But, we got a 
very good pitching performance ourselves that allowed our offense to be 
more aggressive.”

Matthews (12-8) earned the win in Game 1. UF struck first with Marino’s 
first solo homer in its first scoring chance. But, Matthews held the 
Gators scoreless through the remaining six innings. Junior Renise Landry 
(West Monroe, La./West Monroe) received the loss. USC scored three runs on 
three hits in just two-thirds of the first frame. Nicole Michael (Phoenix, 
Ariz./Greenway) came in relief for Landry (10-7). The freshman struck out 
four, walked four and gave up three runs on four hits.

UF will play a mid-week twinbill against Bethune-Cookman Wednesday, March 
22. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. from the Florida Softball Stadium.
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