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Sunday February 15, 2004Softball Defeats No. 25 Michigan State in Extra Innings

Tampa, FL

The Florida softball team (6-1) won its fifth consecutive game with a 3-2 eight-inning victory over the Michigan State Spartans (2-1) in the USF-Wilson Invitational. The Gators capitalized on Michigan State errors to give them the win in the bottom of the eighth.

Florida was out hit for the first time this season as Michigan State tallied nine hits to Florida’s seven. The Spartans also had three errors, one of which proved to be the difference in the game.

Michigan State scored its two runs in the top of the opening frame. Third baseman Brittney Green was hit by a Jenny Gladding pitch to start the game. Pitcher Jessica Beech hit a home run over the right field fence to put her team up 2-0.

The Gator remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. Gladding opened the inning with a home run to left field. With one out, third baseman Kristen Butler hit a double to left center. Shelley Stevens came in to pinch run for her and scored on an RBI single by center fielder Lacy Howard to tie the game at 2-2.

Both teams continued to get hits through regulation, but neither was able to score any runs until the bottom of the eighth. Stacy Rosen, pinch running for Mylin Prieto, started the bottom of the eighth at second due to tiebreaker rules. With one out, Gladding drove a single to right field and made a move toward second. Rosen went to third and scored as Michigan State’s catcher Elizabeth Peterson threw an errant ball down the left field line, missing the third baseman.

Florida faces Seton Hall at approximately 7 p.m. in the rain-shortened tournament.

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