The 24th-ranked Florida softball team watched a comeback bid slip away as
they lost an eight-inning nightcap to Arkansas 8-7 after losing the first
game 2-1 in front of a Lady’Back Yard record crowd of 773 Saturday night.
UF is 28-16 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas is 20-
17 on the year and 3-3 in the SEC.
Arkansas’ senior Tammy Kincaid tossed a one-hit shutout through six and
two-thirds innings in Game 1, protecting a 1-0 Lady’Back lead since they
scored in the fifth inning. UF didn’t let Arkansas off easy, though. With
one out remaining in the seventh, freshman Jenn Mossadeghi (Jupiter,
Fla./The King’s Academy) broke out with a single through the middle. Right
fielder Andrea Zimbardi (Green, Ohio/Green) sent her home with a double to
The Lady’Backs won it when designated player Danika Howlett smacked a
fierce grounder to third base, scoring the inning’s leadoff batter from
third. Senior Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) received the loss.
Dieter allowed eight hits, two runs, two walks and struck out four in six
and two-thirds frames. Kincaid gave up just a run on three hits and four
walks, and struck out three in a complete game.
In Game 2, Arkansas capitalized early. Junior Renise Landry (West Monroe,
La./West Monroe) loaded the bases on three straight walks. Freshman Nicole
Michael (Phoenix, Ariz./Greenway) came in relief and forced a run scoring
ground out. Then, the Lady’Backs sent two more across the plate on an Aly
Sartini single to right field.
UF came back with two runs in the fourth on three consecutive extra-base
hits. First baseman Emily Marino (Joliet, Ill./Joliet) led off with a
triple into right field and scored on a Jenn Lutsi (Naples, Fla./Barron
Collier) double. Junior Ashley Boone (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) sent in
Lutsi with a two-bagger that rolled down the right field line before
Arkansas pulled pitcher Rachel Talley, who worked three and a third
frames, yielding five hits with just one strikeout.
The Gators pulled ahead 7-3 with a five-run fifth frame. UF scored on six
hits and an Arkansas error. The Lady’Backs got two back in their half of
the inning. They threatened to come within one in the sixth. Senior Nicole
Kreipl (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) started a relay from
deep in left field that caught Arkansas at the plate. Instead, Arkansas
knotted it at seven apiece in the seventh, as Dieter walked in the tying
run. Howlett scored the winning run after leading off the eighth with a
double. Andrea Wharton had the game-winning RBI.
Dieter (13-5) received the loss, and Kincaid (10-7) earned her second win
of the day.
The Gators will play host to instate rival Florida A&M Tuesday, March 28.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m. from the Florida Softball Stadium.