Saturday February 12, 2005Softball Earns Top Seed in GRU Classic With 7-5 Win
The No. 19 Florida Softball team improved to 10-0 on the season with a 7-5 win over in state rival South Florida in the GRU Classic. The Gators are now the top seed in the tournament.
South Florida started the scoring in the top of the first inning. Christie Chapman led off the game with a double. She advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a Carmela Liwag base hit down the left field line to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead.
The Bulls added another run in the top of the second. Three straight base hits loaded the bases. With one out, Samantha Ray dropped a base hit just into the grass in left center to score Sarah Watson and put her team up 2-0.
Florida answered in a big way in the bottom of the second. Melissa Zick led off the inning with a solo home run over the center field fence, her first of the season. Lauren Roussell walked and Mandy Schuerman singled up the middle. Erica Chesak came in to pinch run for Schuerman at first. Both Chesak and Roussell advanced on a South Florida passed ball. Butler was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Nikki Baldwin drew a walk to score Roussell for the first Gator run of the day. Lindsey Norfleet reached on a fielder’s choice as Chesak was thrown out at home for the first out of the inning, but leaving the bases still loaded for pinch hitter Mary Ratliff. In her first at bat of the season, Ratliff drove a two RBI base hit to left field to put the Gators ahead for the first time, 4-2.
The Gators were not going to stop there though. Shelley Stevens reentered to run for Ratliff. Rachel Rosenbaum came in to replace South Florida starter Bree Spence in the pitcher’s circle. Stacie Pestrak hit a bunt single to the first baseman to load the bases with Florida’s fastest players. Lindsey Cameron hit a three-RBI double to give the Gators a 7-2 lead.
South Florida scored three more runs off a Carly Griffin solo home run in the fourth inning and a Danielle Urbanik two-run shot to the scoreboard in the sixth.
Cameron’s hit in the second was her fourth game-winning hit of the season.
Stacey Stevens earned the win for Florida, her fifth of the season.
Florida will now face Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m. Saturday to determine who will move on to Sunday’s gold medal game.