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Sunday February 8, 2009Softball Drops Game Three to Baylor, 1-0

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 1/1 University of Florida lost the finale of a three-game series with Baylor, 1-0, Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of over 1,000 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.  Despite giving up one hit and retiring the first 13 batters she faced, Florida senior right-hander Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) (1-1) took the loss as the Gators were held scoreless for the first time since last year’s Women’s College World Series loss to Texas A&M.


The Gators (2-1, 0-0 SEC) only managed three hits off freshman hurler Whitney Canion, who pitched seven scoreless innings for the Bears (1-2, 0-0 Big 12) and struck out 10.


In the top of the fifth, the Bears got to Nelson when she gave up her only hit of the day to catcher Courtney Oberg on a line drive to left field.  Pinch running for Oberg, Sophia Lujan moved to third on a throwing error by Nelson, and two batters later scored on a fielding error by sophomore shortstop Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.).


The Gators failed to answer in the bottom of the fifth after Bush led off with a single to left and pinch runner Le-Net Franklin (Belton, Texas) stole second. 


In the sixth inning Nelson came back strong, retiring the Bears 1-2-3 on two strikeouts and a dribbler back to the mound.  But in the home half of the inning, the Orange and Blue could not capitalize on a two-out single up the middle by junior left-fielder Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.).


The Gators’ biggest threat came in the first when senior center fielder Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) lead off with a single to left.   Sophomore second baseman Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) moved Waleszonia over to second and was safe at first on a hit-and-run fielder’s choice.  Senior first baseman Ali Gardiner laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position, but Canion was able to quiet the Gator bats, forcing Enea to foul out and sophomore Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) to strikeout.   


“Overall, I think give Baylor a lot of credit,” Florida head coach Tim Walton said.  “[Canion] did a great job.  She’s really good and kept us off balance all day.”


The Gators are in action again in Jacksonville on Wednesday, Feb. 11 for a one-game stand against JU at 5 p.m. 

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