Sunday May 2, 2004SB Splits With LSU, Earns Sixth Seed in SEC Tournament
Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
The No. 20 Florida Softball team (40-16, 16-13 SEC) prevented a series sweep by Southeastern Conference Champions LSU (46-9, 22-6 SEC) as they split a Sunday doubleheader. Florida lost the first game 4-1, but won the second, the final game of the regular season, 3-1.
LSU went up early in the bottom of the first inning. With one out Lauren Castle drew a walk from Florida starter Stacey Stevens. She scored from first on a RBI double into the left center field gap by left fielder Leslie Klein. Stevens took the inning under her control and did not allow Klein to score as she struck out the next two Tiger batters.
Freshman short stop Lauren Roussell was Florida’s first base runner as she was hit by a Kristen Schmidt pitch with two outs in the second inning.
With two outs in the top of the third, senior Jenilee Garner got Florida first hit with a hard infield single. Freshman designated player Shelley Stevens followed with a base hit that hugged the left field line, but the Gators got no further as third base man Kristen Butler popped out to left field for the final out of the inning.
The Tigers took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Lauren Delahoussaye drew a one-out walk. After a second out, she was able to advance to third on a base hit through the right side by catcher Leigh Ann Danos. Sara Fitzgerald played Delahoussaye with a sharply hit infield base hit to give her team the two run lead. Camille Harris reached first on a two-out walk to load the bases with Tigers for LaDonia Hughes. Hughes drove a base hit up the middle to score pinch runner Lauren Uhle and Fitzgerald to put LSU up 4-0 with three innings remaining.
Florida scored its first run of the series in the top of the sixth. Lead off batter Garner reached on a base hit through the right side. A perfectly placed bunt by Shelley Stevens put her safe at first. A throwing by Tiger first baseman Stephanie Hill allowed Garner to score and Stevens to advance all the way to third to reduce LSU’s lead to 4-1.
The first two batters in Florida’s line up, Garner and Shelley Stevens were each 2-for-3 on the day, with all four of Florida’s hits between them.
LSU’s Schmidt earned the win, her second of the series to improve her record to 28-5 on the season. Stacey Stevens received the loss for Florida .
Florida was on the board first in game two. Roussell got the Gators started with a one-out base hit to shallow center field in the bottom of the second. Junior Nikki Baldwin came in to pinch run for her. Baldwin advanced to second on a Mylin Prieto ground out to third base. Catcher Michelle Diaz knocked a two-out RBI single to center field to score Baldwin and give Florida the 1-0 lead.
Florida added three more runs in the top of the sixth. With one out Garner had an infield base hit and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Tiger short stop. Shelley Stevens followed with another single to advance Garner to third. With Butler at bat, Stevens stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Butler hit the two-run single up the middle to give Florida a 3-0 lead.
LSU scored its first run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hughes led off the inning with an infield base hit. Castle followed with a second infield base hit. Both runners advanced on a Stacey Stevens wild pitch. Hughes scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Klein to narrow Florida’s lead to 3-1.
Garner and Shelley Stevens each had two hits again in game two. Garner went 2-for-4, while Stevens went 2-for-3. Stevens tripled her hit production in SEC games as she had only two hits in SEC games before her four hits on Sunday.
Stacey Stevens pitched her second complete game of the day to earn the win and improve her record to 14-7 on the season. Emily Turner received the loss for the Tigers. Her record is now 17-4.
Florida will have 11 days before their first game in the SEC Tournament. Florida will be the sixth seed in the tournament and will face No. 3 seed Georgia at noon on Thursday, May 13.