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Lauren Roussell went 2-for-3 with three RBI in Florida's loss to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament.

Friday May 14, 2004Softball Eliminated From SEC Tournament

Tuscaloosa, AL

Lauren Roussell went 2-for-3 with three RBI in Florida's loss to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament.

The Florida Softball team (40-18) was eliminated from the Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament Friday with a 7-5 loss to the Tennessee Lady Vols (52-13). The Gators will now wait to find out where they will travel to play in a NCAA Regional Tournament.

Florida plated the first run in the bottom of the opening frame. With one out, senior Mylin Prieto grabbed an infield base hit. Sophomore Kristen Butler was hit by a Monica Abbott pitch. After freshman Melissa Zick popped up to first base for the second out, Lauren Roussell hit a base hit up the middle to score Prieto from second and give Florida the 1-0 lead.

Tennessee tied the game in the top of the second. With one out, Amber Rhinehart walked. She scored on a Lauren Mattox double deep into right center field. It looked as if the inning would continue after a base hit by Katherine Card, but Stacey Jennings popped into a double play to right that found Mattox stuck between second and third to end the inning.

The Lady Vols took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. With one out, Sarah Fekete hit a base hit into shallow center field. After the second out of the inning, Kristi Durant drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Fekete came in on a Angela Brewer base hit through the left side to score Tennessee’s second run of the day.

The Gators tied the game at two runs a piece in the bottom of the fourth. Leadoff batter Zick got to second on an error by the Lady Vol centerfielder. Nikki Baldwin came in to pinch run for Zick and scored on a Roussell double to right center to even the score.

The Gators avoided a third Tennessee run in the top of the fifth. Mandy Fishback led off the inning reaching on a Gator error. Then with one out and Cline running for Fishback at second, Lindsay Schutzler ripped a shot to right field. Cline rounded third and headed home, but tripped halfway there. A great throw from right field by Mandy Schuerman to Michelle Diaz allowed Diaz to make the tag and prevented Cline from scoring the go ahead run.

Florida took advantage in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Shelley Stevens led off with a base hit that landed just in front of Tennessee’s catcher. She advanced to second on a sacrifice by senior Jenilee Garner. Stevens scored on a Butler triple to the center field wall. That would not be all for Florida as Zick was safe on an error by the Tennessee short stop, allowing Butler to score to put Florida up 4-2.

The top of the seventh was costly for Florida as two Gator errors and four hits allowed Tennessee to go up by three runs. Stacey Jennings led off the inning with a base hit. Pinch hitter Brittany Bessho followed with another base hit up the middle. Fekete was safe on a fielder’s choice as the Gators tried to put Jennings out at third, but a poor throw found her safe and the bases loaded for Schutzler who hit an RBI single to right. With one out, Angela Brewer hit a two-RBI base hit to score pinch runner India Chiles and Fekete to go ahead 5-4. Schutzler and Brewer scored Tennessee final runs on a bloop hit down the right field line that the Florida defense just could not reach.

Florida attempted a come back in the bottom half of the inning, but were only able to add one run as Mylin Prieto scored on a Roussell sacrifice fly.

Roussell had an outstanding game for Florida, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBI. Butler was also 2-for-3 for Florida with a run scored and a RBI.

Senior Amanda Moore started the game for Florida and pitched 4.2 innings, giving up only two earned runs. Stacey Stevens came in in relief of Moore in the fifth and gave up five runs in 1.2 innings before being relieved by Amanda Knowles. The loss for Stevens moves her record to 14-9 on the season. Monica Abbott started the game for Tennessee and pitched five innings before being relieved by Jennings. Jennings earned the win, her first since earning the win against Florida on April 17. Her record is now 10-6 on the season. Abbott reentered with the bases loaded to get the final two outs for Tennessee to earn the save, her fourth of the year.

Florida will now wait to find out their fate for NCAA Tournament play. The Gators will either travel to Lincoln, Neb., Tallahassee, Fla, Athens, Ga., Ann Arbor, Mich., Palo Alto, Calif, Los Angeles, Calif. Or Tucson, Ariz. for an NCAA Regional. The NCAA will make the announcement between 8:30 and 9 p.m. Sunday on ESPNews.

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