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Saturday February 2, 2002Orange Defeats Blue in Celebrity Swing

Gainesville, FL

The Gator Softball team opened the 2001-02 season with the second annual Celebrity Swing. The team and 22 celebrities combined to play an entertaining game infront of a crowd of over 200 people. The game was full of thrills and exciting plays. Public address announcer Chad Anglehoffer and two wireless microphones on the field added running commentary to make the game even more fun for both the fans and the players.

Freshman Amanda Knowles retired three straight in the first for the Orange team. The Gainesville Sun's Doris Yon got a break this year, after a trouble game last year, sophomore ace for the Blue team Amanda Moore walked Yon, her first batter of the game. Jackie Marchetta reached first on a fielder's choice, as Yon was thrown out at second. She stole third on a ball, but her team was not able to bring her home.

The Alligator's Jeff Darlington opened the top of the second with a triple to center field. Jenilee Garner had the first RBI of the game as she scored Darlington with a single shot between first and second. Former Gator baseball player Dave Majeski took Knowles yard with two outs to give the Blue team the 3-0 lead.

Florida soccer's Andi Sellers got the Orange team's first hit of the game, but was thrown out at second as TDC Entertainment' s Tom Collett reached first on the fielder's choice. Gator first baseman Prissie Walden knocked Collett to second with a single, but their team couldn't help them out once again and they still trailed after two.

Junior Jenn Brown tried to help her team out with her speed on the bases, and she was successful. She reached first with her team's third hit of the game and stole second with no problem. TV20's Hank Astengo got her home with some help from the Blue defense. Softball strength and conditioning coach Karen Spence reached base after some questionable calls from behind the plate, but she proved her worth as she stole second and then scored on a baseball alumnus Jeff Cardozo single and an error. Cardozo stole third to put himself in scoring position with two outs. TV20 Sports Director had the game tying RBI single to score Cardozo.

At the request of the celebrities, the tie-breaker became a home run derby. Each team picked two players and four celebrities to have their shot at ten outs. Assistant coach Kathy Morton broke the tie with two homers. Blue team ringer Steve Russell gave the Blue team the lead with three homers. But the lead was quickly expelled as Cardozo ripped four way out of the park, which on top of his fourth inning heroics, won him the game MVP honors. Jordon Hess increased the lead with a shot straight over the centerfield fence.

Majeski helped his team's cause with a low line drive right over the right center fence, a high ball over the scoreboard and another directly over the flag pole in center field, and WRUF's Steve Russell added three long balls as well, but it wasn't enough. The Orange team came back to defeat the Blue team 10-9.

Cardozo was named the MVP for the Orange team and Russell and Majeski shared MVP honors for the Blue. The Gators have their real season opener Friday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. in the GRU Classic at the Florida Softball Stadium.

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