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Sunday April 22, 2001Softball Loses 3-1 at No. 20 South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C.

The Florida Gator softball team endured three and a half innings of a tie ballgame, but could not retain its strong defense or overcome tough pitching as it fell 3-1 at the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division Champion No. 20 South Carolina Sunday afternoon at Beckham Field.

The Gators (32-23, 12-14 SEC) struck first in their first at-bat. Third baseman Jenn Mossadeghi (Jupiter, Fla./The King's Academy) beat out a slow roller to second base for a leadoff single. Second baseman Prissie Walden (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) took her first pitch deep to center field for one of her two doubles on the game to score Mossadeghi. They were the only two Gators to hit in the game.

USC (33-16-1, 16-7 SEC) rallied for a run-scoring triple with two outs in the second to tie it at one run each. USC All-American hurler Megan Matthews sat the Gators down in order for the next five innings. UF senior starter Renise Landry (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. USC stranded four runners throughout that span thanks to an unyielding Gator defense, highlighted by a 5-3 double play in the fifth inning. USC could have loaded the bases with no outs in that situation. It was UF's 20th double play turned this season.

"We were playing tough," Coach Karen Johns said. "I thought it was a great game, but against teams like South Carolina and pitchers like (Megan) Matthews, you just can't give them an opportunity."

USC broke open the tie game in its sixth when UF's defense faltered. The Gamecocks had three consecutive hits and capitalized on two Gator errors. Freshman Amanda Moore (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest) came in relief for Landry after the third hit.

Matthews (17-11) earned her second complete-game win on the weekend, allowing one run on three hits and a walk, and striking out three. Landry lasted five and a third frames, accounting for three runs on six hits and five free passes, and fanning three. Moore pitched the final two-thirds of the sixth.

UF will play its last road series at South Florida April 25. The double header begins at 5 p.m.

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