Sunday April 13, 2003Florida Loses Final Game of South Carolina Series
The Florida softball team (32-16, 13-8 SEC) was swept for the first time of the SEC season in South Carolina (31-12, 15-7 SEC). Once again South Carolina overcame an early 1-0 Florida lead to win by one run, 2-1. Five of the last six games between the two teams have been decided by one run.
For the third time in the three game series Florida took the first lead of the game. The Gators went up 1-0 in the first. With one out, junior shortstop Jackie Marchetta singled through the left side. Junior pitcher Jenny Gladding followed with a walk and freshman leftfielder Lindsey Cameron singled to load the bases for sophomore centerfielder Nikki Baldwin. Baldwin drew the RBI walk to score Marchetta from third for the 1-0 lead.
South Carolina followed the pattern of the previous two games and tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third. Melissa Sandel drew the leadoff walk. She was safe on a fielder’s choice bunt by Kim Evans. With two outs, Debralee Troesh, who troubled the Gators in the first two games, drove the RBI double through the left side for the tie.
South Carolina took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back doubles by Meghan Cornett and Ashley Smith with one out in the inning led to the one-run South Carolina lead.
Florida attempted to tie the game up in the top of the seventh. With one out, Baldwin was safe at first on an error by the Gamecock pitcher. A Stacey Johnson pitch hit sophomore catcher Ashlie Goble. Sophomore Mandy Schuerman came in to pinch hit and drove a single through the left side to load the bases. Senior Jennifer Mossadeghi also came in to pinch hit and was safe on a fielder’s choice as Houghton, pinch running for Baldwin, was out on the play at the plate for the second out of the inning. Florida’s final batter grounded out to the short stop, to end the Gator’s comeback attempt.
South Carolina dealt Florida its first conference sweep of the season. Gladding took the loss for Florida. She is now 16-9. Stacey Johnson earned the win for the Gamecocks and Melanie Henkes earned her first save of the season.
Florida returns home next weekend to face the Tennessee Lady Vols on Friday and Saturday at the Florida Softball Stadium. Friday’s doubleheader begins at 5 p.m. and Saturday’s single game is at 1 p.m.