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Thursday February 14, 2002Gator Softball Splits With No. 9 Washington

Gainesville, FL

Florida handed No.9 Washington their first loss of the season in taking the first of the two games played Thursday evening. Florida won the first game 9-4 and lost the second game of the doubleheader 8-2.

Florida's record stands at 3-4 on the year and Washington is 11-1.

Florida pitcher Amanda Knowles (2-0) won the first game and Washington's Tia Bollinger (5-1) received the loss. In the second game, Washington's Ashley Boek (3-0) was credited with the win while Florida's Amanda Moore received the loss (1-2).

Jackie Marchetta went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs to lead Florida in game one. Mandy Schuerman scored a team-high three runs and went 1-for-3 for the Gators in that game.

In the first game Florida used a five-run fourth inning to break open a 4-2 game. Florida only had two hits in the inning, but they used smart base running and timely hitting to capitalize on two Washington errors in the inning. The rally started with Jenilee Garner's bunt to advance pinch runner Jenn Brown. Brown scored Florida's first run of the inning two batters later on an errant throw by Washington's third baseman.

Jackie Marchetta put Florida up 7-4 later in the fourth inning with her sacrifice fly-out to center field to score Jessie Franklin. Washington pitcher Leslie Scott, who was brought in with two outs in the inning, hit Jennifer Mossadeghi with the bases loaded and threw a wild pitch to score Nikki Baldwin to put Florida up 9-2.

Brittani Houghton pitched the final two innings for Florida, sharing a game-high four strikeouts and allowing one earned on two hits.

Washington scored two runs in the sixth inning, including a Jamie Clark home run to right-center field.

Washington was led by Rita Roach and Becky Simpson in the loss. The two outfielders each had two hits and scored one run.

Florida came close to defeating Washington in game 2 after they came back from two runs down to score a run in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 2-2.

In the fifth inning with two outs and Katy Berger on third base, Schuerman smashed a double to left-center field for an RBI to bring Florida within one run of Washington, 2-1. The following inning, Florida's Bree Berger drilled a two-out home run that easily cleared the left field fence just inside the foul pole to tie the game, 2-2.

Berger finished the game 2-for-2 with a RBI and a walk.

Florida pitcher Amanda Moore struggled in the seventh inning, giving up four earned runs. Moore allowed a no-out two-RBI double which scored three runners to put Washington up 5-2. Moore was replaced by Brittani Houghton, who finished the game allowing three runs, two of which were earned.

Moore had a strong game for Florida until the seventh inning, and finished the game with five strikeouts, allowing six runs and seven hits.

Washington's Ashley Boek pitched a complete game, striking out eight Gators and allowing five hits.

Florida returns tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to face UT-Chattanooga in the University of Florida Hotel and Conference Center Invitational. Florida also plays later that evening against Hofstra at 7:30 p.m.

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