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Tuesday March 9, 2004Softball Wins First Game in California Trip

San Diego, CA

The Florida softball team (20-3) opened its California road trip with a 3-2 win over the San Diego State Aztecs in San Diego. Despite a breath-taking bottom of the seventh, the Gator defense held strong for the win.

Lacy Howard opened the scoring for Florida, ending a five game slump with a lead off homer in the top of the third inning. It was her second home run of the season. Lindsay Norfleet walked and stole second on an attempted pick off and advanced to third on a Lauren Roussell sacrifice bunt. Jenny Gladding walked and Stacy Rosen came in to pinch run for her. As Rosen attempted to steal second, the Aztec catcher flung the ball into center field, allowing Norfleet to score and give the Gators a 2-0 lead.

Florida went up 3-0 in the fourth inning. Jenilee Garner got the Gators started with a one out base hit up the middle. Mandy Schuerman followed with an infield base hit to the short stop, advancing Garner to third with the hit. Howard drove Garner in with her second RBI of the day.

In the bottom of the seventh the first two Aztec batters Erin Mahoney and Lacey Craft hit back to back singles. Both runners advanced on a passed ball. They both scored on throwing error by Gladding as Mahoney was coming home on a Deanna Richards fielder’s choice play, making the score 3-2. The defense took care of the next two outs as the final two batters grounded out to Roussell and Gladding.

Florida tallied six hits to San Diego State’s five. Howard was Florida’s top hitter in the game, going 2-for-3 with a base hit, a home run, a run scored and two RBI.

Gladding earned the win for Florida from the pitching rubber. She struck out nine Aztec batters in the complete game victory. Her record improves to 9-2 on the season.

The Gators have tomorrow off before they face Michigan State and Cal State Fullerton Thursday in Fullerton. The first game is at 5:30 p.m. and the Fullerton game is at 10 p.m. Eastern.

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