Friday February 7, 2003Softball Sweeps in Day One of GRU Classic
The University of Florida softball team (7-3) had a perfect beginning to the 2003 GRU Classic on Friday at Florida Softball Stadium by winning both of its games. The Gators’ offense shined in an 11-1 win over Illinois-Chicago while perseverance and clutch hitting earned the team a 4-3 win against South Florida.
"We’ve been having great at-bats all year, so I’m not really surprised by our offense’s success," Florida coach Karen Johns said. "I’m just really pleased with the way we played. Any time you win, it’s a great thing because your confidence rises."
With Florida trailing USF 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, freshman Lindsey Cameron doubled to right field to score two and to give the Gators their second win of the day. Florida was able to overcome the 3-0 lead USF (6-2) had early in the game.
Junior Jenny Gladding (2-1) allowed six hits in seven innings to earn the win for Florida. Senior Prissie Walden went 2-for-2 against USF.
Florida’s seventh inning began when freshman Kristin Butler lined a pitch off USF third baseman Krista Holle to reach first base on the error. With runners on second and third with one out, Cameron stepped to
the plate and delivered the game-winning hit.
"I knew we needed a hit, and I was just in the right spot at the right time," Cameron said. "I think it will pick us up for tomorrow."
Florida began chipping away at USF’s 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Walden reached first base to open that inning on an infield single. She was replaced by pinch-running sophomore Brittani Houghton, who stole second base on the ensuing pitch. Senior Jackie Marchetta then scored Houghton with an infield single for Florida’s first run.
The Gators capitalized on shaky USF pitching in the fifth inning for their second run. After senior Jackie Marchetta was hit by junior USF pitcher Leigh Ann Ellis to load the bases, Ellis threw a wild pitch to senior Jennifer Mossadeghi.
Sophomore Mandy Schuerman scored from third on the play to put Florida down 3-2 and set the stage for Cameron’s heroics.
Against Illinois-Chicago, five Gators had at least two hits in the win to set a single-game record this year with 17 hits. The 17 hits are the second-most in a game in Florida history.
Sophomore Mandy Schuerman led the team with a 2-for-4, three RBI performance. Her three RBI tie a personal best.
Junior second baseman Mylin Prieto went 3-for-4 with a RBI.
Junior Amanda Moore (3-1) pitched four shutout innings and collected a season-high five strikeouts in relief of Schuerman to earn the win. The four hits Florida allowed is the second-fewest amount the team has allowed this season.
"I feel like I’m in the zone more and hitting my spots better," Moore said. "We just worked really hard this week."
Illinois-Chicago (0-7) pitcher Alycia Creese (0-2) allowed 12 hits and seven runs to record the loss.
The Gators’ offense broke open a 3-1 lead in the fourth and sixth innings, scoring four runs in each inning.
Junior Jenny Gladding’s single through the right side of the infield in the fourth scored Jenilee Garner to start the Florida scoring. Freshman Lindsey Cameron’s double to right field and Senior Jennifer Mossadeghi’s triple to right field in the next two at-bats scored Gladding and Cameron to give Florida a 6-1 advantage.
Schuerman’s infield single to shortstop scored Mossadeghi for the Gators’ fourth run of the inning.
Florida matched its fourth inning offensive output in the sixth. After junior Andrea Magua scored on Schuerman’s fielder’s choice, Senior Prissie Walden singled to center field to score Prieto and Brittani Houghton. Walden would score two at-bats later on Kristin Butler’s groundout to first base to give Florida its 11th and final run.
The Gators return to action later this afternoon when they face South Florida in the four-team tournament. The Gators are scheduled to play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Oklahoma and will play again later that day at 4 or 6:30 p.m.
Prior to playing Florida, Illinois-Chicago opened up The 2003 GRU Classic with a 5-1 loss to No. 8 Oklahoma.
Oklahoma scored two runs in the first inning when sophomore Christina Enea singled through the right side of the infield for two RBI for a 2-0 lead.
Illinois-Chicago answered in the second inning when freshman Joyce Cathy scored on junior Alycia Creese’s single.
Oklahoma put runs on the scoreboard again in the second inning with a two-RBI single up the middle from freshman Kristin Vesely. It concluded its scoring with a home run off the bat of senior Kelly Braitsch in the third inning.
The final game of the first day of the GRU Classic was still being played at the time of this release. Oklahoma was leading South Florida 1-0 in the top of the second.