Saturday April 26, 2003Softball Drops Pair to Mississippi State
The University of Florida softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon to Mississippi State, 11-8 and 7-3 at the Florida Softball Field. The Gators fell to 35-20 overall and 16-10 in the Southeastern Conference.
In the day’s first game, the Gators got off to a great start by pushing across two runs in the top of the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Florida started the scoring with an RBI double by Jenny Gladding, which scored leadoff hitter Mylin Prieto, who led off the inning with a double to centerfield. Jenn Brown would pinch run for Gladding and would score two batters later on Gator third baseman Jennifer Mossadeghi’s sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Mississippi State would tie it up in the top of the third with a two-run homerun by Kate Jaspres, but UF responded an inning later in its half of the fourth. Freshman Lindsey Cameron led off the inning with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a sac bunt. Cameron would come in to score on Prieto’s RBI single to left field to give the Gators a 3-2 lead. The RBI single was one of three hits for Prieto in the first game, as she went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored.
The Gators’ slim lead wouldn’t last for long, as the Bulldogs used a six-run top of the fifth to take an 8-3 lead, which they would not relinquish. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no one out and scored two runs to make it 4-3 before Brooke Best lined a grand slam over the leftfield wall.
Gladding would smash a solo homerun to centerfield in the bottom of the fifth to cut the MSU lead to 8-4. Gladding would also notch three hits in game one by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Andrea Margura hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the MSU lead to 9-6. It was just the second hit of the season for Margura, as both have been pinch hit homeruns for the Gators.
MSU pushed the lead out to 11-6 heading into the bottom half of the seventh, but the Gators would add two more runs to round out the scoring. Prieto drove in Mossadeghi with an RBI single and a Bulldog error enabled Nikki Baldwin to score. The Gators outhit the Bulldogs 12-11, but nine runners left on base by Florida proved to be costly.
The second game saw another late rally by the Gators that came up short. Mississippi State scored five runs with two outs in the top of the second to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
MSU (33-25, 13-15 SEC) would stretch it out to 7-0, but Gladding responded with another solo homerun to centerfield to lead off the fifth for the Gators’ first run. UF would push across another two runs in the bottom of the sixth, as a Gladding single drove in Prieto, and a Mossadeghi single would knock in Brown, who was pinch running for Gladding to make the final score 7-3.
The two afternoon losses were the fifth and sixth losses in a row for the Gators at the hands of the Bulldogs. Florida will look to end the streak, as the third and final game of the series will be played Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Florida Softball Field.