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Thursday May 17, 2001Softball Loses 3-0 to Fla. Atlantic in NCAA's

TALLAHASSEE

The Gator softball team lost 3-0 to instate-foe Florida Atlantic in the first round of the double-elimination NCAA Region 8 bracket Thursday afternoon at the Florida State Softball Complex.

The Gators' offense dwindled despite out-hitting the Owls (46-19) 6-4. UF (36-27) stranded six runners, double that of FAU, five of which were left in scoring position. Senior first baseman Ashley Boone (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) led all hitters, going 2-for-3 with her 19th double.

"(FAU) had every reason to fold in the first two innings," Coach Karen Johns said. "But they didn't. Our hats off to them."

UF led off four of seven innings with a hit. Boone's hits accounted for two of the first three consecutive leadoff hits. The Gators squandered a bases-loaded opportunity with no outs in the second, catcher Bree Berger (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) started it off with a double. Shortstop Jackie Marchetta (Boyton Beach, Fla./Santaluces) singled and stole second. Second baseman Prissie Walden (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) drew just her second walk this year. But, pitcher Nicole Myers struck out the fourth batter, and FAU turned a double play on a force at the plate to get out of the jam.

Myers struck out two and forced a ground out in the third after allowing runners to reach second and third in the third frame.

"It seems our bats are cursed," Johns said. "We just seemed not to be able to (get the run) across. Myers got two big strikeouts."

FAU scored in the third. First baseman Jamie Sawyer led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. On the same play, she advanced to third on a passed ball, then went home when Berger's throw to third went wide. The Owls added two for insurance in the sixth on two hits.

Myers (26-11) allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven over a complete game in her 15th shutout this year. UF starter Amanda Moore (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest) gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks over six innings. Moore (13-10) struck out four.

The Gators will play Friday at 3 p.m. in the second round. UConn will play the loser of the FSU vs. Bethune-Cookman game Thursday at 8 p.m. The winner of that contest will be UF's opponent. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the game live.

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