Saturday April 15, 2000Softball Splits Twinbill With No. 11 Alabama
It took just one big hit to put the University of Florida softball team on top of 11th ranked Alabama and help the Gators to a 4-0 triumph in the second half of a twinbill after losing a heartbreaker 3-2 in extra frames in the opener Saturday afternoon at the Florida Softball Stadium.
Junior Ashley Boone (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) knocked out her first home run of the season, taking an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall for three RBI in the first inning. Boone, who splits time at first base and in right field, was UF's home run leader last year with eight and had been waiting to break out with one this season. "It felt fabulous," she said. "I knew it would happen sooner or later, and that it was just a matter of time. And, it couldn't have happened at a better time."
Pitcher Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) allowed just one hit against the Tide (49-8, 17-3 SEC) to record her seventh shutout. Landry (15-8) struck out eight batters. Bama's Julie Lindner (9-2) received the loss.
"I thought Renise did a tremendous job," fourth-year Coach Larry Ray said of the junior. "She did a good job with her counts."
UF (36-19, 7-8 SEC) scored again in the fifth with help from senior Nicole Kreipl (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach). The left fielder drove in leadoff hitter Lora Pinkerton (Phoenix, Ariz./Moon Valley) with her first hit in eight games.
"I was most pleased with the way our players came back today," Ray said. "We came within a eyelash of winning two. That's a sign of a good ball club. I'm very proud of them."
Senior Beth Dieter (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) tossed six scoreless innings in Game 1. The Gators got on the board with a run in the bottom of the sixth and came back to tie it at two a piece in the bottom of the eighth. Boone, who went 3-for-3 in the game, tripled, and shortstop Jenn Mossadeghi (Jupiter, Fla./The King's Academy) sent her home with a ground out to second base.
"I thought (Dieter) threw extremely well," Ray said. "But, the two hitters I was trying to avoid always kept coming up." One of those two was center fielder Kelly Kretschman. She hit her 11th homer, a shot to right center for the game-winning run. Pitcher Shelley Laird (25-4) shut down UF in its half of the ninth to earn the win. Dieter fell to 16-8 and struck out eight batters. UA scattered nine hits off of Dieter, a statistic that does not tell the entire story. Dieter and the UF defense forced the Tide to leave 14 runners on base. Three times, Dieter pulled UF out of bases-loaded situations—twice with a strike out.
The Gators are back in action Wednesday, April 19 against South Florida. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. from the Florida Softball Stadium. Admission is free.