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Sunday February 10, 2002Softball Earns Second Place in GRU Classic

Gainesville, FL

The Florida Gators concluded the three-day GRU Classic finishing in second place after dropping the Championship game 5-0 to Florida International (6- 5) Sunday afternoon in front of 411 fans at Florida Softball Stadium. Florida's record stands at 2-3 on the season following the four-team tournament.

FIU pitcher Amanda Nealer was credited with the win, her second in as many outings against Florida. Florida pitcher Mandy Shuerman (0-2) received the loss.

"I was disappointed we didn't make adjustments at the plate, but we will go in Tuesday and take care of that," Florida coach Karen Johns said following the loss. "FIU did a great job swinging the bat and putting the ball in play."

FIU followed up their 4-0 win Friday night against the Gators with an equally impressive pitching display. Florida was held to only seven hits in their two games against the Golden Panthers.

Although Florida and FIU each had five hits, Florida was unable to collect more than one hit in an inning.

The best chance Florida had to score may have occurred in the first inning after Schuerman singled with two outs and stole second base. Jennifer Mossadeghi then walked, leaving Florida with runners on first and second. A Prissie Walden strikeout, however, ended the threat.

Florida also had an opportunity to make a dent in FIU's lead in the fifth inning. With one out, Bree Berger drilled the first pitch offered by Nealer deep to the warning track in left-center field, but it didn't have enough distance to clear the fence.

FIU scored all five of their runs in their three-hit second inning after capitalizing on two Florida errors. Lesley Gillen led off the inning with a double to left-center field. A fielding error by shortstop Jackie Marchetta scored her two batters later to put FIU up 1-0.

Shuerman was replaced by pitcher Amanda Moore after FIU's second run of the inning came on an errant throw to home by second baseman Jenilee Garner. After giving up a RBI single to centerfield, Moore hit Nicole Dubovik with the bases loaded to put FIU up 4-0. FIU scored their final run of the game when Jennifer Owens' fielder's choice out brought home Melissa Fleitas.

Shuerman was credited with only one earned run in the inning.

Florida International coach Kim Gwydir was impressed with her team winning the GRU Classic.

"I'm happy with the win because any time you beat Florida it's a good win," Gwdir. "I don't want our team to go to sleep after taking a five-run lead because Florida could come back."

Florida returns to action Thursday, February 14, for a Valentine's Day double-header against nationally-ranked Washington at Florida Softball Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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