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In her first two games back from an injury, Jackie Marchetta hit her first two home runs.

Thursday April 25, 2002Softball Improves SEC Standing with Sweep of Vols

Knoxville, TN

In her first two games back from an injury, Jackie Marchetta hit her first two home runs.

Many positives came out of Florida softball's (31-30, 11-15) sweep of the doubleheader over Tennessee (33-24-1, 8-16 SEC) at Tyson Park in Knoxville, Tenn. this evening, not the least of which was all but securing a place in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn. May 9-12. Florida won the first game 15-3 and the second, 7-6.

The other positives a new school record for most home runs hit in a game with four, the biggest Gator win in Knoxville in school history and three different Gators hitting the first home runs of their careers. In addition, the entire Gator line up proved to be healthy again as Jackie Marchetta and Jennifer Mossadeghi both returned to the line up.

The Lady Vols took the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning in game one. Centerfielder Hannah Low hit a solo homer out over centerfield on the first pitch Florida starter Amanda Knowles gave her.

The Gators took it in stride though and came out swinging in the top of the fourth. Senior Katy Berger led off with a double and took third on an errant throw by the Lady Vol shortstop. Jackie Marchetta, starting in her first game since she broke her right third finger on April 7, drove in Berger with a single through the left side. Bree Berger stepped up to the plate and drove a two-run homer over left center field to give Florida the 3-1 lead. It was the sixth homer of the season for Bree Berger and tied Mandy Schuerman for the team lead.

Florida gained a bigger lead in the following inning. Mandy Schuerman drew the lead-off walk. Mylin Prieto was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second. Katy Berger followed her younger sister's lead and hit the three run homer, the first of the senior's career, out over centerfield to lift the Gators to a 6-1 lead with only one out. Prissie Walden drove a double to centerfield, Jackie Marchetta reached first after being hit by a Nicole Borg pitch and Bree Berger walked to load the bases for designated player Andrea Zimbardi. Zimbardi hit the two RBI single to drive in Walden and Marchetta. Bree Berger tried to sneak in as the Vols defense chase Zimbardi back to the plate, but was thrown our on the way home for the second out.

Tennessee added two runs in the top of the fifth to narrow the Gator lead. Nicole Murray led off the Vols' half of the inning with a double to centerfield. Ellisha Humphrey drew a two-out walk to put two runners on base. Low hit a ball deep into left field that was dropped at the wall to allow two runs to score and bring the score to 8-3. Both runs were unearned.

A couple Gator freshmen came up big in the top of the sixth. Left fielder Nikki Baldwin led off with a double through the left side. She advanced to third on a Mylin Prieto ground out. Third batter, Jessie Franklin, hit the first home run of her career in only the fourth hit of her career to give Florida the 10-3 lead.

Franklin added to the Gator cause again the top of the seventh. Mandy Schuerman started the Gators with a walk with one out in the inning. Baldwin had her second hit in as many innings to put runners at first and second. Mylin Prieto was safe on a fielder's choice, as Baldwin was thrown out for the second out. Franklin's second hit drove in her third RBI of the day, as Schuerman scored. Prieto scored on Prissie Walden's single. Jackie Marchetta stepped up to the plate with two outs and two runners on to hit the first home run of her career and give Florida the 15-3 win.

Florida starter Amanda Knowles gave up only two hits in the win, improving her record to 12-9 on the season. Tennessee threw four pitchers, but starter Stephanie Humphrey took the loss.

Tennessee took an early 2-0 lead in game two. An errant throw on a routine play to lead-off batter Nicole Murray. Then with two outs Amber Rhinehart hit a double through the left side to score Murray and give Tennessee its first lead since the bottom of the third in game one. A Blaine Teasley single to score Rhinehart extended the lead to 2-0.

The Gators took the lead in the top of the fourth as they scored four runs on six hits and a walk. Marchetta led off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball. Bree Berger followed with a walk and then stole second. Jenn Mossadeghi stepped up to the plate for a RBI double to score Marchetta. Berger also attempted to score on the play, but was gunned down at home for the first out of the inning. Stacy Rosen followed with a single to score Mossadeghi. Rosen advanced to second on the throw home. Mandy Schuerman hit the Gators third consecutive hit of the inning. She stole second and Rosen scored on the error by Tennessee short stop Ellisha Humphrey. Jenilee Garner hit the RBI single to score Schuerman for the fourth run of the inning and a 4-2 Gator lead.

Florida extended its lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth. Lead off batter Marchetta reached on an error by the Lady Vols secondbaseman. She stole second buring Bree Berger's at bat. Berger reached on an infield single and Marchetta advanced to third. Berger was thrown out at second attempting to steal, but Marchetta snuck home to put Florida ahead by three. Three straight walks loaded the bases, which allowed Mossadeghi to score on Garner's sacrifice fly to left field, giving Florida the 6-2 lead.

The Lady Vols came back and gave Florida a scare in the bottom of the inning. Teasley started the Tennessee rally with a base hit up the middle. Adrianna Wilson followed with a walk. Low reached on an error by thirdbaseman Mossadeghi, allowing Teasley to score. A two-run double down the right field line by Maria Torres brought Tennessee within one run at 6-5. The Gator defense handled the rest of the batters and got out of the inning with the lead intact.

Marchetta lengthened the Gator lead with her second home run of the day and her career, making the score 7-5. Marchetta had a huge night for Florida going 4-for-8 with two home runs, a double, five runs scored and five RBI on the night.

Low grabbed a Brittani Houghton pitch for a home run deep over center field which hit the highway above the Lady Vols' Tyson Park.

Florida has won eight of the last nine games in the series with Tennessee. Amanda Moore earned the win, improving her record to 11-12. Brittani Houghton picked up her second save of the season. Humphrey pitched the complete game loss, moving her record to 22-18.

The Gators now hold steady at eighth place in the SEC and are three games ahead of Tennessee, the ninth place team. Tennessee only has tomorrow's 1 p.m. game remaining in its conference schedule. The Gators have a three-game series at Mississippi State next weekend before ending their regular-season portion of the season. The final game of the series will be on WRUF 850 AM.

 

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