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Saturday April 5, 2003Softball Upsets No. 8 Georgia in Athens

Athens, GA

After a two hour delay due to poor weather, the Florida softball team (30-10, 11-2 SEC) took a game from SEC leading Georgia (38-6, 13-3) in Athens. The Gators used a four run first inning to give them their first win over the Bulldogs in Athens since May 8, 1999.

The Florida softball team came out at the top of their game in game one. Senior shortstop Jackie Marchetta led off the game with a base hit into shallow left field. Junior second baseman Mylin Prieto hit a slow, spinning ball about three feet from first base that no one made a play on, leaving her safe at first and allowing Marchetta to advance to third. Prieto stole second to put two Florida runners in scoring position. Sophomore designated player Mandy Schuerman knocked a double to the wall in left centerfield with two outs to score Marchetta and Prieto for a 2-0 lead. Junior pitcher Jenny Gladding gave Florida a 4-0 lead with a home run to right field. Florida is only the third team this season to score a run on the Bulldogs in the first inning. Georgia reliever Lacey Gardner came in to replace starter Michelle Green after Gladding’s home run.

Each team held the other scoreless through the second and third innings. Georgia worked on a comeback in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Kim Wendland hit a line drive through the right side. Green, now the designated player hit a home run out in left center field to reduce the Gator lead to only two runs at 4-2.

Georgia attempted to move ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning. A hit, an intentional walk and a Gator error loaded the bases with two outs, but the Gator defense took care of the third out and left three Bulldog runners stranded to save the win.

Gladding got the win for Florida to improve her record to 15-6 on the season. She also had Florida’s game winning hit. Green earned only her third loss of the season. Gardner did her job in relief for Georgia allowing only two Gator hits in the final six innings.

Jenilee Garner had a perfect on base percentage for Florida. She was 1-for-1 with a walk and a hit by pitch.

The two teams face off again at 5 p.m. today.

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