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Saturday April 3, 2004Softball Splits With Georgia

Gainesville, FL

The Florida softball team (33-8, 10-4 SEC) split the first two games of the three game series with the University of Georgia, Saturday at the UF Softball Complex. The Gators defeated the Bulldogs 6-4 in the first game, but fell 4-3 in the second game, as both teams put in impressive offensive performances at the plate.

In game one, the Bulldogs started off early going up 3-0 in the top of the third inning. Georgia went on a two-out rally led by a double by Nicole Barber. Katie Lewis singled up the middle to score Barber and give Georgia its first run. Kim Wendland followed followed with the second double of the inning to score Lewis. Knight hit the fourth consecutive hit through the left side to score Wendland and put Georgia up by three.

The Gators came back to score one run in the bottom of the third. Lead off batter Jenilee Garner was hit by a Kasi Carroll pitch. After advancing on a Melissa Zick base hit and two outs, Garner scored from third on a Lindsey Cameron single.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Gators came on strong. Cameron led off with a base hit. Nikki Baldwin entered the game to run for her. Mandy Schuerman followed with another base hit. Kristen Butler reached on an error by the Bulldog pitcher to load the bases with no outs. Designated player Jenny Gladding knocked a hit to deep left field for a double, allowing both Schuerman and Baldwin to score. Pinch hitter Michelle Diaz hit a single to center field, recording another RBI as Butler came home to put the Gators up 4-3. With Gladding at third, and still no outs, Mylin Prieto stepped up to the plate to hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to bring in Gladding. Norfleet came back in the game to run for Diaz and scored on an error by the Georgia short stop.

In the top of the seventh, Georgia added another run off a Gator error, with no outs and two runners on first and third. The Gator defense held strong, forcing a double-play which caught Wendland and the runner Lewis out. With one out left to seal the game, Georgia’s Courtney Knight hit a high pop-up to short stop Lauren Roussell to make the game-winning out.

Amanda Knowles recorded the win for the Gators improving to 3-1 on the season, while Stacey Stevens record her second save. Georgia’s Kasi Carroll recorded her second loss of the season.

In game two, Georgia took another early lead in the first inning as Wendland and Knight hit back to back homeruns. The Bulldogs notched another homerun by Wendland in the top of the third to bring in Lewis, putting Georgia up 4-0.

The Gator offense answered right back to score three in the bottom of the third. Action started as Diaz singled down the left field line. After Diaz was advanced to second, Prieto hit a double to right center allowing Diaz to score. With one out, Zick hit her third homerun of the season to center field to make the score 4-3.

The Florida offense continued to battle, but could not string enough hits together to over come the Bulldogs.

Knowles received the loss for the game, while Georgia’s Kasi Carroll received the win. Amanda Moore pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief and gave up only one hit.

Florida will face Georgia tomorrow, Sunday, April 4 in the rubber match of the series at the UF Softball Stadium. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. The game is the SEC-TV game of the week and will air throughout Florida on the Sunshine Network.

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