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Wednesday February 11, 2004Softball Defeats UCF 5-1

Gainesville, FL

Led by another impressive pitching performance by senior Jenny Gladding, who recorded her third consecutive double-figure strike-out game, UF defeated the UCF Knights 5-1, improving to 5-1 on the season. Gladding struck out 11 of the 24 batter she faced.

After a slow start, which saw only one hit by UCF in the first inning, the Knights jumped out ahead in the top of the third after a double to left center by the catcher, Jennifer Whitley, brought in the freshman Kacie Feaster.

Florida opened up the flood gates in the fourth, scoring four runs to put the Gators over the Knights 4-1. The action started with a double down the left field line by freshman Lauren Roussell, followed by a Lindsey Cameron sacrifice fly to center field to bring in pinch-runner Shelley Stevens to tie the game 1-1.

After UCF made its first pitching change of the evening, bringing in senior Taylor Sawyer, UFs Lacy Howard doubled through the right side to bring in senior Jenilee Garner, moving ahead 2-1. With runners on second and third, Sawyer walked Melissa Zick to load the bases for the catcher Michelle Diaz. Still struggling at the mound, Sawyer was forced to walk Diaz, bring in an automatic run, pinch-runner Stacey Rosen, now putting the Gators up by two. With the bases still loaded and two outs, Sawyer faced Mylin Prieto. A passed ball on a pitch to Prieto brought in Howard to put Florida up 4-1

UCF tried to even the score in the top of the fifth, but was only able to record their third hit of the evening off a single up the middle from Feaster. UF came on strong again in the bottom of the sixth to seal the victory. Howard tripled to the right field corner, forcing UCF to bring in another reliever, Kelly McIntyre. Zick hit a double to center to bring in Howard for the fifth and final run of the evening, but was tagged out at third trying to stretch her hit to a triple as UCF struggled to gain control.

UFs defense held strong in the final inning, ending the game with back-to-back strike outs. The Gators go on the road next as they take part in the USF-Wilson Tournament in Tampa, Fla. beginning Saturday. Florida will face Seton Hall and Hofstra in the first day of the three day tournament.


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