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Sunday April 11, 2004Softball Ends Sunday Curse, Sweeps South Carolina

Gainesville, FL

The Florida softball team (38-9, 15-6 SEC) was victorious Sunday with a 5-3 win over No. 18 South Carolina (21-16, 10-14 SEC) at the Florida Softball Stadium. With the win the Gators won their first SEC conference game on a Sunday and swept their second conference series of the season.

South Carolina scored first in the top of the first inning. Nancy Crane drew the lead off walk and two batters later scored from third on a sacrifice fly by McKenna Hughes.

The Gamecocks went up 2-0 in the top of the fourth as lead-off batter Hughes hit a home run over the centerfield fence.

The Gators put their first run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. With one out in the inning, Kristen Butler reached and moved on to second on a dropped fly ball. Shelley Stevens came in to pinch run for Butler. She advanced to third on a bloop infield single by Lauren Roussell. Lindsey Cameron grounded out to third and Stevens started toward home. It looked as if she was going to be out, but the South Carolina catcher dropped the ball to allow Florida to close the gap to 2-1.

Florida took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Mandy Schuerman hit a single down the left field line. Melissa Zick followed and dropped a shot just over the left field fence to give Florida the 3-2 advantage.

South Carolina tied the game in the top of the sixth. Lead off batter Crane reached on an infield single. She advanced to third on an error as Meghan Cornett was safe at first. Crane scored her second run of the game to tie the game at 3-3 on an Ashley Smith base hit.

Florida went ahead by two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Two consecutive base hits through the left side by Butler and Roussell and a walk by Cameron loaded the bases for pinch hitter Mirelis Torres. Torres reached on a fielder’s choice as the Gamecock third baseman attempted to throw Butler out at home, but the ball sailed over the catcher, giving Florida the 4-3 lead with no outs and the bases still loaded. After one out, Jenilee Garner grabbed a Stacey Johnson offering for a base hit through the right side to give Florida the two-run lead.

Amanda Moore earned the win from the mound for Florida. Her record improves to 6-0 on the season. Johnson received the loss for South Carolina.

Florida now hits the road for the remainder of their Southeastern Conference games. The road stand begins next Saturday and Sunday at Tennessee.

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