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Saturday February 8, 2003Softball Suffers Loss to No. 8 Oklahoma

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida softball team (7-4) was handed its first loss of the 2003 GRU Classic Saturday as No. 8 Oklahoma defeated the Gators 2-0.

Junior Florida pitcher Jenny Gladding (2-2) struck out five and allowed only four hits in her second-consecutive complete game of the tournament to record the loss. Sophomore Oklahoma pitcher Kami Keiter (3-0) earned the win.

Gator senior Jackie Marchetta went 2-for-3 with two singles. Florida sophomore Mandy Schuerman extended her hitting streak to six games with a double.

Strong pitching by Gladding held Oklahoma (3-0) to its lowest hit total of the tournament. Gladding held Oklahoma hitless for the first three innings, but the team would score its two runs in the fourth.

After two infield singles, a single to right field loaded the bases for Oklahoma. With one out in the fourth inning, Leah Gulla singled down the left field line for two RBI to put Oklahoma up 2-0.

The Gators did get off to a quick start against Oklahoma. In the first inning, Marchetta singled to open the game and Schuerman doubled with two outs to send Marchetta to third. But Keiter’s tough pitching forced freshman Kristen Butler to ground out to end the scoring threat.

Florida had another scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth inning. After senior Jennifer Mossadeghi singled to left field to start the fourth, pinch runner Jennifer Brown stole second base. Schuerman walked the following at-bat and was advanced to second base, along with Brown going to third, on Butler’s bunt. A groundout and a strikeout on the next two at-bats stranded the runners.

Following the game, the Gators took the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will play No. 3 seed Illinois-Chicago at 6:30 p.m. today.

In Saturday’s first game of the GRU Classic, Illinois-Chicago (1-7) withstood a late South Florida (6-4) rally to win 8-6.

Illinois-Chicago pitcher Alison Aguilar (1-3) earned the win. USF’s Nicole Christensen (0-1) took the loss for USF.

Sara Hernandez went 3-for-4 with three RBI for Illinois-Chicago. Courtney Lewellen and Renee Oursler each had two hits and two RBI for USF.

Trailing 8-2 in the top of the sixth, USF began a two-out rally that resulted in a four-run inning. After a bases-loaded walk to Carmela Liwag and an RBI-single by Lewellen, Oursler hit a two-RBI single up the middle to bring USF within two runs.

USF’s shaky start was too much for it to overcome, however.

Illinois-Chicago used a four-run second inning to take a 6-1 lead on USF. Following Hernandez’s one-out, two-RBI single to left field, Illinois-Chicago scored again after newly inserted USF pitcher Katie Dugger threw a wild pitch to score Joyce Cathy from third base.

Illinois-Chicago closed its second-inning scoring when Christie Chapman’s error at shortstop scored Hernandez from third.

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