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Saturday March 1, 2003Softball Goes Nine Innings With No. 5 Texas

Gainesville, FL

The Florida softball team (16-7) lost a hard fought game to No. 5 Texas (17-1). The 4-3 loss came in nine innings in which the Gators out hit the Longhorns 6-3.

Both teams held each other off until the fourth inning. The Gators were hitting the ball, but could not string the hits together to produce runs. The first two Texas batters in the bottom of the fourth walked. They advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by thirdbaseman Wynter Turner. Secondbaseman Lindsay Turner scored from third on the base hit by firstbaseman Alexis Garcia. Two runs came in as a hurried throw to first on a well laid bunt on a fielder’s choice play went over the catchers head to give Texas a 3-0 lead.

Florida answered with a run in the top of the fifth. Jenny Gladding lead off with a base hit, but was out on a fielder’s choice that left Kristen Butler safe at first. Butler advanced to second on a Laura Templeton ground out to second base. Prissie Walden drove in the first Florida run of the day with a base hit up the middle, but she was thrown out at second for the third out.

Florida took advantage of Longhorn miscues in the top of the sixth. Leadoff batter, Jackie Marchetta walked. The Longhorns brought in Andi Bradford to relieve starting pitcher Lizi Sowers. Bradford struck the next batter out for the first out of the inning. Marchetta advanced to third on a Jennifer Mossadeghi double that hugged the left field line. Marchetta scored on a wild pitch and Mossadeghi advanced to third. After a Mylin Prieto walk, Andrea Magura came in to pinch run for Prieto at first and Houghton cam ein for Mossadeghi at third. Houghton scored the tying run from third on an error by Gardner.

The score remained at 3-3 through the seventh and eighth innings. Texas came close to scoring in the eighth, but a sharp throw home by shortstop Marchetta got the runner out and extended the game into the ninth.

The international tiebreaker rule began in the top of the ninth. Mandy Schuerman started at second for the Gators. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mylin Prieto. Designated player Jenny Gladding was intentionally walked to put runners on first and third, but the next two batters were out to leave Florida scoreless in the top of the ninth.

Texas started with Danielle Turner on second pinch running for Turner. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Garcia. Sarah Wieszczak reached on an error and Marlo Hanks was intentionally walked to load the bases and put the force at home. Another sharp play by Marchetta put the Murphy, the lead runner out at home and gave the Gators two outs, but the batter, Tiffany Anders was safe on the fielder’s choice, so the bases were still loaded. Melanie Jarrett, who was 0-3 on the day, became the hero for the Longhorns with the walk off base hit.

The relievers for both teams got the decisions. Andi Bradford’s record moves to 4-0 on the season with the win. Amanda Moore received only her second loss of the season and is now 8-2 on the season. Only Texas’ first run was earned.

Florida is now the third seed in the tournament and will face the second seeded Longhorns again at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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