Wednesday April 9, 2003Softball Loses Heartbreaker to Tide 4-2
No. 20 Florida Softball (32-13, 13-5 SEC) lost its first Southeastern Conference Series of the season tonight at the Florida Softball Stadium to No. 17 Alabama (34-14, 17-4 SEC). The game was a heartbreaker, with the Gators leading until the Tide used a four run top of the seventh to earn the 4-2 win.
Florida struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Junior secondbaseman Mylin Prieto drew a two out walk. She stole second and scored on a junior pitcher Jenny Gladding base hit for the 1-0 Gator lead.
Gladding helped her own cause with two outs in the bottom of the third. She took Alabama pitcher Erin Wright’s first offering for a home run directly over the fence in center field and put her team up 2-0.
Alabama made a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Jennifer Reach started a one-out rally with a base hit. Junior Amanda Moore came in the game to replace starter Gladding. Capper Reed was hit by a Moore pitch. Stephanie VanBrakle loaded the bases with a base hit to center field. Staci Ramsey had her first hit of the series to score Reach from third for the Tide’s first run of the day. Gladding reentered to finish the game for Moore and got the next batter out. Gladding battled with Ashley Courtney for eight pitches before Courtney grabbed one for a base clearing double and the 4-2 Alabama lead.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, senior Jackie Marchetta had an infield base hit. After another out, Prieto drove a base hit through the right side to move Marchetta to third. Tide pitcher Van Brakle intentionally walked Gladding to load the bases and put the tying run on second and the winning run on first with two outs and freshman left fielder Lindsey Cameron at bat. Cameron flew out to right to end the game.
Alabama out hit the Gators 10-7. Moore was credited with the loss for Florida. It was only her third loss of the season. Her record is now 11-3. Tide reliever VanBrakle earned the win. She is now 11-4 on the season.
Gladding was 3-of-6 for the Gators in the series with all six of Florida’s RBI.
Florida travels to South Carolina this weekend to take on the Gamecocks in a three-game series. Games begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.