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Wednesday April 23, 2003Softball Drops Twinbill to Seminoles

Gainesville, FL

The No. 25/21 University of Florida softball team was held scoreless for the first time in 23 games Wednesday night in the first of two loses to No. 13/14 Florida State. The Gators (35-18, 16-8 SEC) fell to the Seminoles (39-9, 4-0 ACC) 5-0 and 7-3 in the doubleheader at Florida Softball Stadium.

Brandi Stuart’s solo home run in the fifth inning of game two broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the game-winning hit.

Florida sophomore Nikki Baldwin went 1-for-3 with a RBI double. Junior Jenny Gladding hit a single to extend her hitting streak to five games, which ties her collegiate high.

Gators junior Amanda Moore (12-5) took the loss and struck out four in 4.2 innings of relief. Moore replaced junior starting pitcher Amanda Knowles with two outs in the first inning.

The 13 hits that Knowles, Moore and sophomore Mandy Schuerman allowed in game two are the most the Gators have given up in a game this season.

The Gators scored two runs in the first inning to tie the score at 2 after the Seminoles used two RBI singles to take the early lead. The Gators’ runs, which came from Baldwin’s two-RBI double, were the first runs Florida State pitcher Jessica van der Linden (15-4) had allowed in 47 innings.

Florida senior Mylin Prieto led off the first by beating out a deep groundball to shortstop. Jenny Gladding’s one-out single to left field advanced Prieto into scoring position.

One out later, Baldwin drilled the delivery off center fielder Shundra Colzie’s glove into the left-center field gap to score both Gators. Baldwin was tagged out at third on the play to end the inning.

The Seminoles took a 3-2 lead in the second inning with Elisa Vasquez’s one-out, RBI single to second base. A great defensive play was made on the hit by Florida second baseman Prieto, who prevented a Florida State runner from scoring from third by keeping the ball in the infield. Prieto made a diving grab at the grounder and was mindful enough to get the force out at second base.

As it had done in the first inning, Florida equaled the Seminoles’ offensive output in the bottom of the second inning. The Gators’ skill and speed on the base paths resulted in a run that tied the score at 3.

Following freshman Laura Templeton’s one-out double to the wall in right-center field in the second, pinch-running senior Jennifer Brown replaced her. With Brown on third and pinch-running freshman Lindsay Norfleet on first with one out, Norfleet forced Florida State catcher BillieAnne Gay to throw to second as she took off from first on her way to a stolen base.

Brown scored from third on the play.

Stuart hit her line-drive home run to lead off the fifth to put Florida State up a run.

Florida State took a 7-3 lead after adding three runs in the sixth inning. The Gators were able to end the inning on a positive note when junior left fielder Jenilee Garner’s threw the Seminoles’ Beth Wade out at home for the final out.

Gladding (18-10), who was the USA Softball and NFCA National Player of the Week, struck out eight in the Gators’ first game.

Senior Jennifer Mossadeghi went 2-for-3 to lead the Gators at the plate.

The Seminoles’ Casey Hunter allowed four hits to improve her record to 22-5. Vasquez went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBI.

After doubling home Florida State’s first run in the first inning, Vasquez drilled a two-out, two-run home run to right field in the third inning to put the Seminoles up 3-0.

Florida State added two more runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. After giving up two hits and a walk to begin the inning, Gladding appeared to settle down as she struck out consecutive batters with the bases loaded.

On the next at-bat, however, Tatiana George hit a RBI single to right field. Van der Linden was walked later in the inning with the bases to give the Seminoles a 5-0 advantage.

Florida returns to action Saturday when it hosts Mississippi State for a three-game series. First pitch is 1 p.m. at Florida Softball Stadium.

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