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Saturday April 19, 2003Softball Shuts Lady Vols Out of Series

Gainesville, FL

The No. 25/23 University of Florida Softball team continued its dominance in the Southeastern Conference Saturday as it swept Tennessee with a 1-0 win at Florida Softball Stadium. Florida (35-16, 16-8 SEC) did not allow a run during its three wins against the Lady Vols (39-18, 12-11 SEC), which is the first time in school history that it has held an opponent scoreless during a three-game series.

The series marks the third Southeastern Conference sweep for the Gators this year.

Junior Florida pitcher Jenny Gladding (18-9) earned her second complete-game win of the series and struck out nine. Gladding, who struck out a Lady Vol in each inning she pitched in Friday’s first game, extended her strikeout streak to 11 before not recording a strikeout in the fifth inning.

"Jenny was really good today," Florida coach Karen Johns said. "She came out in the sixth and really threw hard, so we let her finish.

"I thought she had better tempo in the last two innings than she did in the first five."

Junior Mylin Prieto went 3-for-3 with a double for the Gators. Gladding helped her cause at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance, including a double.

Florida freshman Kristen Butler had two singles and knocked in the game-winning run.

A bloop single down the right-field line by Florida sophomore Nikki Baldwin in the fourth inning paved the way for the Gators’ game-winning run. Baldwin was advanced to second base, where she was replaced by pinch-running senior Jennifer Brown, in the following at-bat off a sacrifice bunt by senior Jennifer Mossadeghi.

One at-bat later, Butler hit the delivery from Stacey Jennings (18-11) through her legs into center field to score Brown from second and put the Gators up 1-0.

Florida looked as if it was going to add another run to its total in the following inning. Jennings walked Prieto on four pitches to begin the inning before being replaced by Stephanie Humphrey.

One out later, Gladding singled to right field off Humphrey and sophomore Mandy Schuerman walked to load the bases. All three runs were stranded on base, however, after Humphrey forced Prieto and Baldwin into groundouts.

Tennessee had its chances early in the game but could not produce a run for the third consecutive game.

Tennessee used two hits and a walk in the top of the first inning to load the bases with two outs. Gladding escaped the jam when she struck out Stacey Jennings swinging for her second strikeout of the inning.

Gladding again showed her aptitude while pitching with the bases loaded in the third inning. After allowing singles to Sarah Fekete and Lauren Mattox and a walk to Amber Rhinert, she retired the next two Tennessee batters on a flyout and lineout to end the threat.

The Lady Vols’ Fekete went 3-for-4.

Florida returns to action Wednesday when it hosts No. 14/14 Florida State in a doubleheader. First pitch is 4 p.m. at Florida Softball Stadium.

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