Sunday February 23, 2003Softball Defeats Georgia Tech 9-2
The University of Florida softball team picked up Sunday morning right where it left off Saturday afternoon when rain postponed its game against No. 24 Georgia Tech in the Cox Communications Classic. The Gators (15-4), who were leading 4-0 in the second inning Saturday before play was suspended, returned to the field Sunday with the same offensive determination to defeat Georgia Tech 9-2 at Florida Softball Stadium.
The Gators advanced to the championship game of the Cox Communications Classic. They will take on Illinois today at 1:30 p.m. after Oakland and Georgia Tech play in the consolation game.
Florida freshman Lindsey Cameron hit a home run, which occurred on the last pitch before play was suspended Saturday, for the second straight game and went 2-for-2 with two RBI. Senior Jackie Marchetta went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a team-high ninth stolen base.
Junior pitcher Amanda Moore (7-1) earned the win striking out three batters, all in the third inning, in 1.2 innings of work. Moore replaced junior Jenny Gladding, who pitched the first two innings of Saturday’s game.
Although rain fell steadily during the first two innings, the Gators’ offense was not affected. Florida scored four runs in the second inning, highlighted by Cameron’s two-run smash to left field.
Following Cameron’s second home run in as many games, play was delayed until 6:30 p.m., when the showers were expected to leave the Gainesville area. But as the rain showed no signs of letting up during the four-hour delay, it was announced that play would resume Saturday at 8:45 a.m.
What appeared to be an innocent bunt single by sophomore Nikki Baldwin to lead off the top of the fifth inning started a five-run inning for Florida for its first runs Sunday. The Gators’ speed on the base paths allowed them to lay down three bunts during the inning to take a 9-2 lead and make up for the two runs Georgia Tech scored in the fourth inning.
Baldwin scored two at-bats later for the Gators’ first run of the inning when Georgia Tech (6-6) made a throwing error to first base on a Walden grounder. Sophomore Ashlie Goble, who reached on a bunt, scored on the next at-bat off a Garner ground ball to second base.
Marchetta’s bunt down the third-base line scored pinch-running senior Jennifer Brown and Garner, on a throw to second base, as Florida took an 8-2 lead. Senior Jennifer Mossadeghi’s single to left-center field scored Marchetta to leave Florida within a run of enacting the eight-run rule, which suspends play when a team is up by five or more runs after the fifth inning.
Moore and sophomore pitcher Mandy Schuerman did not allow an earned run for Florida. Georgia Tech’s two runs were a result of a two-out error.
Florida returns to action today at 1:30 p.m. when it faces Illinois in the championship game of the Cox Communications Classic at Florida Softball Stadium. Oakland and Georgia Tech were playing in the consolation game of the tournament at the time of this release.