Saturday April 17, 2004Softball Loses First Doubleheader of Season to Tennessee
The No. 12 Florida softball team lost its first SEC doubleheader of the season, falling by three runs in both games with No. 11 Tennessee, 4-1 in game one and 3-0 in game two. The losses mark only the second time this season Florida has lost back-to-back games.
Tennessee struck first in the bottom of the first frame. Lead off batter Sarah Fekete was safe at first on a close play on a ground ball to second. Kristi Durant followed with a bloop hit down the left field line. Lauren Mattox grabbed a Stacey Stevens offering for a RBI double with no outs in the inning. Stevens loaded the bases with four balls to Amber Rhinehart. The Gators got their first out on a fielder’s choice play as Kristen Butler fielded a Stacey Jennings ground ball and threw Durant out at home. Mattox scored the Lady Vols second run on a walk by Angela Brewer. The Gator defense took care of the next two batters as Mylin Prieto threw Rhinehart out at home on a fielder’s choice play and Stevens struck out Monica Abbott to end the inning with the bases still loaded.
The Florida offense got its first runner on in the top of the third as Lacy Howard was hit by an Abbott offering. It would be to no avail though as Howard was called for leaving early.
Tennessee loaded the bases again in the fourth inning, but the Gator defense worked its way out unscathed.
Prieto earned Florida’s first hit of the game with a home run down the left field line on the first pitch of the fifth inning. Prieto’s second home run of the season reduced the Tennessee lead to one run at 2-1. Butler continued the hitting for Florida with a hard base hit up the middle. Shelley Stevens came in to pinch run for her, but was erased as she was caught stealing at second.
The Lady Vols added two runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Brewer grabbed a base hit through the left side. Katherine Card was hit by a Stevens pitch to put runners on first and second. After a second out, Lindsay Schutzler hit a double to the warning track in left field that the Gator defense could not get a jump on to score both runners and give Tennessee the 4-1 lead.
Abbott struck out 11 Gators in the win to improve her record to 35-5 on the season. Stevens received the loss for Florida. Her record drops to 12-4.
Tennessee was the first to score again in game two. With two outs and runners on first and third Rhinehart drove a single through the left side to score Schutzler for the 1-0 lead.
The Lady Vols added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth frame. Durant drew a lead off walk to start the inning. Ellisha Humphrey pinch ran for her and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mattox. Rhinehart reached on a single through the left side, advancing Humphrey to third. Brewer hit a shallow base hit to right field to score Humphrey for the two run lead. A double by pitcher Jennings scored Rhinehart to give Tennessee the 3-0 lift before the Gators could make the final two outs of the inning.
Jennings’ record improved to 8-5 on the season with the win. Amanda Moore received only her first loss of the season in her fourth start of the season.
The two teams face off again tomorrow in the third game of the series. The game time is set for 1 p.m. ET.