Sunday April 3, 2005Softball Ends Series With 4-3 Loss to Georgia
The No. 13/14 Florida Softball team (29-10, 8-4 SEC) lost its second Southeastern Conference series in a row, falling 4-3 in the final game against No. 12 Georgia (33-8, 14-1 SEC) to give Georgia the 2-1 series win.
Florida made a statement in the top of the first inning as they opened the game with three quick runs. Shelley Stevens started a one-out Gator rally with an infield base hit. She scored on a Lindsey Cameron double deep into left center. A Melissa Zick home run over the centerfield wall gave Florida a 3-0 lift and forced Georgia starter Katie Griffith out of the game. Michelle Green came into replace Green and retired the remaining two Florida batters to end the inning.
Georgia loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second. Florida third baseman Stacie Pestrak turned an unassisted double play on a Jodi Dyer fielder’s choice to leave runners at first and second with two outs. A questionable call that went Florida’s way incited the Georgia fans and the Georgia Softball Stadium got loud as Kim Wendland was hit by a Mandy Schuerman pitch to load the bases again. Schuerman and the Florida defense showed a lot of class as they held their guns and Schuerman struck out Megan McAllister looking to end the inning.
Georgia came back with a big inning in the bottom of the third. Jessica Doucette led off the inning with an infield base hit. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Gilmore and to third on a wild pitch. Doucette scored the first Bulldog run on a RBI base hit through the left side by Courtney Knight. Knight advanced to second on a Katie Vickers sacrifice bunt for the second out of the inning. Michelle Green singled to second base to allow Knight to score to bring Georgia within one. Katie Lewis added another infield single to put runners on second and third for Dyer. Dyer hit a two RBI double to out Georgia ahead 4-3. Stacey Stevens came in to replace Florida starter Schuerman and forced a Kim Wendland ground out back to the circle to end the inning.
Florida loaded the bases on a double and two walks with two outs in the sixth, but were not able to capitalize.
The Gators had one last chance to take the series in the seventh. They were able to load the bases on two hits and an intentional walk with only one out, but could not push a run in, ending the game in a 4-3 Georgia victory.
Schuerman received the loss for Florida, moving her record to 9-3 on the year. She was relieved by Stacey Stevens in the third inning. Stevens allowed only one hit in the 3.1 innings she pitched. Green earned the win to improve her record to 17-2. She was relieved by Kasi Carroll with bases loaded and one out in the seventh. Carroll struck out the remaining to Florida batters to earn her second save on the year.
Zick extended her hit streak to 11 games with her home run in the first. That is the longest hit streak by a sophomore in school history. Cameron also had a good day for the Gators, going 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI.
Florida returns to action Thursday night against instate rival Florida State. The first game will air live on the Sunshine Network throughout the state of Florida. The second game will be tape delayed and air later the same night.