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Friday February 28, 2003Softball Loses to No. 19 Michigan

Austin, TX

Florida (15-6) lost the first game of the Time Warner Texas Invitational 5-1 to No. 19 Michigan (5-5) today in Austin, Texas. Florida matched the Wolverines in hits, but two errors proved costly.

Florida took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jennifer Mossadeghi led off the inning with a base hit. Jennifer Brown came in to pinch run for her, but was caught stealing for the first out. Mandy Schuerman followed with a base hit. Mylin Prieto reached on a fielder’s choice, but Schuerman was out at second for the second out. Jenny Gladding slammed a double into left centerfield to score Prieto from first for the lead.

Gladding had a perfect game going until the top of the sixth. Jessica Merchant led off the inning for Michigan with a bloop double to right field. Grace Leutele followed with a hard base hit down the third base line. Michelle Teschler added a third base hit into right field. Florida right fielder Nikki Baldwin hurled the ball home to stop Merchant from scoring. The Gator defense had the runner caught in a run down, but a poor throw home allowed the run to score for a 1-1 tie.

Michigan took a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh as Leutele hit a two-run double with the bases loaded and two outs. Schuerman came into relieve Gladding with runners on second and third and one out to go. A throwing error on a routine play allowed two more runs to score and give the Wolverines the 5-1 lead.

The Gators could only put one runner on in the bottom of the seventh.

Gladding’s record moves to 5-4 on the season with the loss. Michigan pitcher Nicole Motycka earned the win. Her record is now 1-4.

The Gators will face North Carolina at 4:15 Eastern.

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