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The Florida seniors were presented with the regular-season SEC championship trophy before the game.

Thursday May 7, 2009No. 1 Softball Shuts Out Auburn, 3-0, to Advance to SEC Semifinals

Knoxville, Tenn.

The Florida seniors were presented with the regular-season SEC championship trophy before the game.

No. 1/1 University of Florida defeated Auburn, 3-0, in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament to advance to the semifinals.† Senior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos , Calif.) struck out five in her 18th shutout of the season.

 

The Gators (53-3, 26-1 SEC) will face the winner of the Tennessee-LSU game.† Nelson (33-3) allowed only two hits and one walk in the victory.† Anna Thompson (14-15) shouldered the loss for the Tigers (29-27, 9-19 SEC).

 

The Gators struck first, tallying two in the first.† Sophomore Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) led off with a full-count walk.† Senior Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) lined one to third and Kyndall White couldnít handle the hard-hit ball putting runners on first and second.† Junior Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) then slammed a double to the gap in left center to score both Gators.

 

Paculba added a run to the Florida lead with a solo shot in the third, her seventh bomb of the season.†

 

The Tigers threatened in the fourth as Myesha Finney tallied Auburnís first hit of the game after Nelson retired the first nine batters.† Cassie Trosclair then knocked a grounder to short and Paculba dropped the ball at second, as both runners were safe.† With Tigers on first and second, Kyndall White grounded to first and Gardiner fired to third to get the lead runner.† Elizabeth Eisterhold tallied the third grounder in a row back to Nelson to move the runners over.† With both runners in scoring position, sophomore shortstop Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) caught a pop up, hustling over to catch it behind the second-base bag.

 

White singled to left field to start the seventh.† With two outs, Lindsey Harrelson drew a walk and both runners moved into scoring position on wild pitches.† Nelson forced Alexa Martinez to grounded out to end the game.†

 

The Gators will play either the Lady Vols or the LSU Tigers on Friday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.† Live video will be available on www.secsports.com.†

 

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