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Friday April 7, 2000Softball Sweeps Tennessee

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida softball team remains perfect against Tennessee at the Florida Softball Stadium after sweeping the Lady Vols 2-0 in Game 1 and 11-1in five innings in the nightcap, scoring the most runs ever against UT, in UF's Southeastern Conference home opener Friday evening.

Senior Jenn Lutsi (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) and junior Emily Marino (Joliet, Ill./Joliet) powered UF's explosive offense, which put up its 13 runs on 16 hits in the two games. The duo went yard twice in the second game, gathering their 10th and 11th home runs of the year, respectively. Lutsi turned in a 3-for-4 performance on the day with two home runs for four RBI. Marino combined to go 3-for-6 with five RBI and two runs, all in the nightcap.

UF (33-17, 4-6 SEC) also saw production out of the bottom of the lineup. Freshmen Nicole Michael (Phoenix, Ariz./Greenway) and Prissie Walden (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) both went 2-for-3 in Game 2. Walden was announced earlier today as a finalist for the Florida Sports Awards' prestigious Jasper award in the amateur softball and top female student-athlete divisions.

"We just knew we were going to break out against them, I think," Lutsi said of her team's offensive effort. "I thought I mis-hit both of (my home runs). Maybe it was a little extra luck. It felt good, though."

Fourth-year Coach Larry Ray was impressed with his team's ability to rally after losing five of its last eight outings. "We came out pretty strong. I was pleased to see that we scored in the first inning of each game. I think it set the tone."

Third baseman Lora Pinkerton (Phoenix, Ariz./Moon Valley) scored first in the opener. She led off with a double and Lutsi sent her around the horn with a base hit. UF scored its second run in the sixth on Lutsi's first homer of the night, a timely shot, according to Ray. "Lutsi's home run was big. I hate to go into the last inning with just a one-run lead. She's swinging the bat pretty well right now."

In the second game, UF scored three times in the first frame on a pair of hits by Pinkerton and Marino. Marino plated Pinkerton on a double, then scored on a throwing error by UT (16-19, 4-9 SEC) catcher Maura Mollet in an attempt to catch Marino stealing third. The Gators sent in four in the second, half from Lutsi's second bomb. Marino drove in three of UF's four runs in the third with her home run.

Senior hurler Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Philips) set a personal-best, single-season strikeout mark with six K's in the first game. Dieter (15-6) has 112 on her career, ranking her fourth on UF's individual single-season charts. Dieter gave up four hits in seven innings while tossing her 10th shutout. Junior Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) earned the win in Game 2. Landry struck out eight batters through five innings.

The teams face off again Saturday at 1 p.m.

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