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Sunday April 13, 2008Softball Completes Series Sweep of Georgia

Athens, GA

The No. 3 Florida Softball team improved to 46-2 on the season and 18-1 in Southeastern Conference play on Sunday as it finished the series sweep of No. 17 Georgia (35-16, 8-9 SEC) with a 5-2 win.

 

The Gator offense set to work right away in the top of the first. Junior Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) led off with a bunt single. Freshman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) took first on four straight balls from Georgia pitcher Taylor Schlopy. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc, N.Y.) scored both runners with a double to center for a 2-0 Gator lead.

 

Gardiner recorded two more RBI to put Florida up 4-0 in the top of the third. Paculba drew a lead off walk on a full count. Gardiner followed with a home run to left, her sixth of the season, to give the Gators the four run cushion.

 

Georgia threatened in its half of the third, but the Florida defense held strong to end the inning. Brianna Hesson reached on a lead off base hit up the middle. She was put out at second on a fielder’s choice play as sophomore third baseman Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) fielded Sojourner Moody’s bunt and connected with freshman short stop Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) at second. Schlopy reached first as she was hit by a pitch. Megan Wiggins reached on a fielder’s choice that left all runner’s safe and the bases loaded. The Gators threw out Moody at home, but left Goler safe at first on the fielder’s choice with the bases still loaded. Junior pitcher Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) took care of the lost out herself as she fielded the Melissa Wood ground out near the first base line and ran to tag Wood before she could get near the base.

 

Florida tacked on what would be its final run in the top of the fourth. Brooks earned a double on a hit that took a crazy spin at the edge of the infield. She moved to third on a Waleszonia sacrifice bunt. Paculba dropped a base hit into right field, scoring Brooks and putting the Gators up 5-0.

 

Georgia put its first run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Kristin Schnake led off the inning with a bunt single. Victoria Sanders reached on a Gator error on an attempted sacrifice bunt, allowing Schnake to move all the way to third. Sanders and Florida second baseman Paculba collided on the play and both players went down, but both were able to get up and return to the game. Christina Reed lined out to Gardiner at first and Gardiner caught Sanders too far off the base for the double play. Hesson hit a double to center to score Schnake and cut Florida’s lead to 5-1.

 

The Bulldogs put up their second run in the fifth. Wiggins hit a one-out double to right. Goler reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on the throw as the Gator defense put Wiggins out at third. A base hit by Wood scored Goler for the final run of the game for a 5-2 final score.  

 

Nelson earned the win for Florida to record her 30th win of the season. Schlopy pitched the first 2.1 innings for Georgia, giving up the first four Gator runs to take the loss and move to 0-4 on the year. Kate Gaskill pitched the final 4.2 innings for the Bulldogs.

 

Florida will travel to Tallahassee on Wednesday to face instate rival Florida State in a doubleheader. Game one is set to start at 4 p.m. and will be televised live on SunSports. Both games of the doubleheader

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