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Saturday April 20, 2002Florida Softball Takes Two From South Carolina

Gainesville, FL

Katy Berger led the Gator softball team in its sweep of South Carolina. Berger was 4-6 on the day.

A broken finger didn't slow Florida's Jackie Marchetta on the base paths as she slide across home plate for the winning run in extra innings during Florida's first of two wins against South Carolina Saturday at Florida Softball Stadium. Florida (29-29, 9-14 SEC) defeated South Carolina (34-14, 15-8 SEC) 1-0 in eight innings and 2-1.

The two wins against SEC East leading South Carolina raised Florida's record to .500 on the season. The Gators scored all three of their runs off South Carolina errors.

Amanda Knowles (11-8) pitched all eight innings for Florida in game one and allowed only four hits in the win. The Gators' game two starter, Amanda Moore (10-12), pitched a complete game for Florida's second win.

Megan Matthews (18-6) and Stacey Johnson (10-6) picked up the losses for South Carolina.

Florida's lone senior Katy Berger, playing in her final home series, went 4-for-6 on the day to lead Florida.

Marchetta, who has a soft cast on her right hand after breaking a finger April 7, pinch ran at second base in the eighth inning of game one after one-out singles by Katy Berger and Prissie Walden. One out later, Marchetta stole third base for her team-leading 16th steal of the season. The throw to third sailed over South Carolina third baseman Samantha Jennings, and Marchetta took off for home. She narrowly escaped the tag of catcher Danielle Quinones to give Florida the win.

South Carolina threatened to score in the top half of that inning but was prevented by tight Florida defense. Florida right fielder Jessie Franklin threw out Jodi Fittro at home to end the inning when she tried to score from second base off Amber Curtis' single.

The Gators stranded nine runners on base, and the Gamecocks left six on base. The Gamecocks' Matthews struck out five Gators to break South Carolina's career strike out record with 1035.

In game two, the Gators withstood two late South Carolina rallies to secure the victory. Leading 2-0 in the top of the sixth, Moore gave up back-to-back South Carolina singles from Kim Evans and Curtis to open the inning.

Meghan Cornett's one-out ground out scored Evans to cut Florida's lead to 2-1. But Moore would end the threat the following at-bat by forcing Adrianna Baggetta to fly out

Moore forced another crucial out the following inning with runner on first and second base with two outs when Evans grounded out to end the game.

Jenilee Garner's double down the right field line to open the second inning jump started Florida's offense. After Andea Zimbardi's bunt moved her to third base, Garner would score the following at-bat on an error by South Carolina pitcher Johnson.

The Gators added their second and final run in the bottom of the fifth inning. With Stacy Rosen on third base with two outs, South Carolina second baseman Debralee Troesh made a throwing error on Walden's groundball to score Rosen and give Florida a 2-1 lead.

Florida returns to action tomorrow at noon as it concludes its three-game series with South Carolina. The Gators will honor senior Katy Berger prior to the game.

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