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Sophomore Kristen Butler hit a two-run homer for the Gator first home run of the season.

Friday February 6, 2004Softball Splits on Opening Day

Gainesville, FL

Sophomore Kristen Butler hit a two-run homer for the Gator first home run of the season.

The Florida softball team won its season opener 10-0 over Appalachian State, but lost their second game 2-1 to instate rival South Florida today at the Florida Softball Stadium.

Florida started four freshmen and each made a big contribution to the win in game one. Catcher Michelle Diaz earned Florida’s first RBI of the season in the top of the second, scoring fellow freshman Lacy Howard on a double to left. Howard was 1-for-2 for the game, drawing two walks and scoring three runs. Shelley Stevens batted in the lead off spot and led the team, hitting 2-for-3. Melissa Zick added an RBI single and a run scored in the seventh. The freshmen accounted for six of Florida’s 11 hits and five of the 10 runs.

Florida scored its first run in the top of the second on Diaz’s double. The Gators added five runs in the second on two run homers by Kristen Butler and Mandy Schuerman and a triple by Lindsay Norfleet. They added their final for runs in the top of the seventh. After Zick hit and RBI single, the Gators capitalized on Mountaineer miscues Jenilee Garner scored on a wild pitch and Zick scored on an error. Lacy Howard scored on a Norfleet ground out for the final run of the game.

Amanda Knowles struck out eight batters and only allowed one hit in the win. She struck out six straight early in the game, including striking out the side in the second. Amanda Moore came to close the game in the sixth and added two strikeouts.

Game two was a game of inches. In the bottom of the seventh, Roussell crushed a line drive to the top of left centerfield. Just as it looked like the ball was going over, it fell back into the playing field and into the hands of South Florida’s left fielder. She threw a perfect relay through the short stop to the catcher to tag Mandy Schuerman, who represented the came tying run, just as her foot reached the plate.

South Florida’s two runs came off a two run homer by Kattrina Dowd in the top of the third.

Starting pitcher Jenny Gladding had an impressive first start, striking out 12 batters and only allowing three hits in the loss. Leigh Ann Ellis earned the win for South Florida to improve her record to 4-0 on the season.

The Gators continue GRU Classic play tomorrow. They take on Arkansas at 12:30 p.m. and Missouri at 4 p.m.
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