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Lauren Roussell had the game-winning hit in Florida's 3-2 win over Georgia in Athens Saturday.

Saturday April 2, 2005Softball Hands Georgia First SEC Loss of Season

Athens, GA

Lauren Roussell had the game-winning hit in Florida's 3-2 win over Georgia in Athens Saturday.

It was a blustery day in Athens, Ga. as the No. 13/14 Florida Softball team (29-9, 8-3 SEC) split a doubleheader with No. 12 Georgia (32-8, 13-1 SEC) to hand Georgia its first Southeastern Conference loss of the season. Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour blowing out to right field throughout the doubleheader made the work harder for both pitchers and outfielders, as any ball hit in the air could be blown anywhere around the field. Florida lost the first game 12-4 in six innings, but won the second 3-2.

Georgia scored first in the bottom of the second in game two. Doucette led off the Bulldog half of the inning with a base hit. She advanced to second on a Jessica Gilmore ground out. Doucette scored on a Kasi Carroll double down the right field line for a 1-0 Georgia lead.

Florida tied the game in the top of the sixth. Lauren Roussell led off with a double that hugged the left field line. Lacy Howard came in to pinch run for her and advanced to third on a Shelley Stevens sacrifice bunt. Lindsey Cameron was hit by a Carroll pitch and stole second to put runners on second and third for Melissa Zick. Zick extended her hit streak to a career-long 10 games as she dropped a base hit in shallow center field right between the second baseman and the centerfielder to score Howard for the 1-1 tie.

Georgia went ahead again in the bottom of the sixth. Kim Wendland led off with a double to center field. Sanders came in to run for her. She advanced to third on a Doucette ground out to third and scored on a Gilmore base hit to put Georgia ahead 2-1 going into the final inning.

The Gators had one more chance in the top of the seventh and they stepped up to the challenge. Savana Kelly got her team started on a good note as she drove a triple to the right field wall to lead off the inning. Lindsay Norfleet followed with a RBI double down the left field line to tie the game at 2-2. The Gators took their first lead of the game on a base hit up the middle by Roussell to score Norfleet from second. All the Gators had to do was hold Georgia in the bottom half of the inning with the Bulldog eight, nine and one hitters due up to secure a series spilt going into Sunday’s game.

Florida starter Mandy Schuerman and the Florida defense took care of business and retired the first three Georgia batters in order, with Schuerman ending the game striking out Courtney Knight looking. Schuerman had seven strikeouts on the day, six of them looking to earn the win and move her record to 9-2 on the season. Carroll took the loss, moving her record to 7-3 on the season.

Florida took advantage of Georgia mistakes to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game one. Roussell lead off the inning with a double to right center field. She advanced to third on a wild pitch. Shelley Stevens reached base on four balls from Georgia starter Michelle Green. Stevens stole second and a fake throw by Georgia catcher Charvi Greer got away from her. Third baseman Jessica Doucette grabbed the errant ball only to throw in over Greer’s head to allow Roussell to score and Stevens to advance to third. With one out, Zick drew a walk. She stole second to put runners on second and third with only one out for Kristen Butler. Butler laid down a fielder’s choice bunt to score Stevens. Zick advanced to third and was able to score as right fielder Victoria Sanders, who was covering second, tipped a throw from Greer off her glove into center field, trying to get Butler advancing to second.

Georgia answered back in the bottom of the inning. Katie Lewis beat out and infield hit with one out. Megan McAllister hit a two out, two run homer to right field to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Gators. Doucette followed with a double to right and scored on a Green hit to right to tie the game at three runs a piece.

Florida went up 4-3 in the top of the fifth on a two-out solo home run to right field by Roussell.

Georgia had a big inning in the bottom of the fifth as the Gators gave up eight runs on seven hits and two walks. Only one of Georgia’s hits was for extra bases.

Georgia added another run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game with a eight-run rule at 12-4.

Stacey Stevens received the loss for Florida, moving her record to 15-6 on the season. Green earned the win for Georgia, improving her record to 16-2 on the year.

Roussell hit 4-for-7 on the day with two RBI and two runs scored, including the game winning hit in game two. Zick went 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI.

The two teams will play the deciding match-up of the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Softball Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on www.GatorZone.com via Yahoo.com.

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