The No. 14/16 (12-2) Florida Softball team split their first two games in
the UNLV Invitational on Saturday. Florida defeated Iowa State, 4-2 in
the first game of the day, and lost to Michigan State, 9-8, in a offense
driven game two.
The day began late as the start of Florida's first game was delayed an
hour to allow the field to dry after Friday's rain. There was also a
total of an hour in delays, as the first game was delayed 20 minutes due
to lightning in the area and game two was delayed 42 minutes for rain.
Florida capitalized on an Iowa State error in the first inning of game
one to take to two-run lead. Shelley Stevens led off the inning with a
base hit up the middle. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by
Stacie Pestrak, her seventh of the season. Stevens scored on the error by
the Iowa State short stop as the ball went between her legs into the
outfield. Melissa Zick was safe at second on the play. Butler drove a
single to centerfield to score Zick for the 2-0 Gator lead.
Iowa State tied the game in the top of the fourth inning as the first two
batters of the inning hit back-to-back home runs. Mandy Schuerman came in
to relieve starter Amanda Knowles. After a 20 minute delay for lightning,
Schuerman sat the next three batters down in order to end the inning.
Pestrak drew a lead off walk to start the bottom of the sixth inning.
Lindsey Cameron hit her fourth home run of the season to put the Gators
up 4-2 for the eventual win. Cameron now has 17 career home runs, putting
her second on Florida's career-home run list.
Schuerman earned the win for Florida, improving her record to 4-0 on the
season. She allowed only one hit in the four innings she pitched.
Game two was all about offense for both Florida and Michigan State. The
Spartans starting the scoring in the top of the first inning. Three
straight walks loaded the bases for a two RBI base hit for Elizabeth
Peterson. With one out, Traci Nicosia hit a home run ot left center to
give Michigan State a 5-0 lead. Schuerman came in to relieve starter
Stacey Stevens and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Florida scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning on a
Kristen Butler blast about 250 feet out of left field. It was her first
of the season, but the second would come later in the game.
The Gators had their five-run inning in the third. Michelle Diaz was hit
by a pitch to lead off the inning. Shelley Stevens and Pestrak followed
with back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases. Diaz scored on an error
by the Michigan State centerfielder as Cameron was safe to keep the bases
loaded for Melissa Zick. Zick hit a three-run double to tie the game at 5-
5. Rachel Turney came in to relieve Spartan starter Christy McGrew with
no outs in the inning. Zick advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by
Schuerman and scored on an error by the Spartan second base person to
give Florida the 6-5 lead.
Michigan State tied the game in the fifth on a lead off homer by
Peterson. Stacey Stevens reentered the game to pitch for Schuerman and
retired six of the next seven batters she faced.
Florida went ahead again in the sixth inning on a second Butler home run,
this time a two-out, two-run bomb over centerfield.
The Spartans came back in the top of the seventh. Peterson was hit by a
Stevens pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a ground
out. Nicosia hit a single to left field and advanced to secon on the
throw to put runners and second and third with one out in the inning.
Caitlin Mahoney singled through the right side to score Peterson. With
two outs, Amy Szawara hit a two RBI base hit to put the Spartans ahead 9-
Florida went down in order in the bottom half of the inning to give the
Spartans the win.
Stacey Stevens received the loss, moving her record to 5-2 on the
The Gators are scheduled to play Southern Illinois at noon Eastern on
Sunday before returning to Gainesville.